Delaware to test mobile driver’s licenses in pilot program

The Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles has launched a six-month pilot study of mobile driver’s licenses. The study will test user acceptance for the technology, which provides a digital license available on mobile phones.

“From online license renewals to increasing the exemption from inspection from five years to seven years for all new vehicles, the mDL pilot is the next advancement we are evaluating as the DMV continues to innovate and implement customer-friendly practices,” Governor John Carney.

The mobile license would be available through a smartphone app opened with a user-created pin or facial recognition.

The pilot will test features, including:

  • Enhanced privacy for age verification – no need to show a person’s address, license number and birthdate, the mDL will verify if the person is over 18 or 21 and display a photo
  • Law enforcement use during a traffic stop – the mDL will allow law enforcement officers to ping a driver’s smart phone  to request their driver’s license information  prior to walking to the vehicle
  • Business acceptance – understanding how businesses that require identification or age verification interact with the mDL will be advantageous throughout pilot
  • Ease of Use – ensuring the mDL is able to be presented to any organization without difficulty
  • Secure access – the mDL is only unlocked and accessible by the mDL holder

“This six month pilot will help us see what mDLs look like in real-world scenarios and address any issues that arise as a result before we decide to fully adopt and implement this application,” said Secretary of Transportation Jennifer Cohan.

The Division is running the test with IDEMIA, the company that produces Delaware’s regular licenses and identification cards.

If Delaware moves forward, it would be the first state to make the transition to digital licenses.

“It is exciting for us to be one of the first states to test this innovative technology that can both protect the privacy of our customers and enhance safety in ways that can’t be achieved with a traditional driver license or identification card,” said Scott Vien, Director of the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles. “It is our responsibility to always bring the best-in-class offerings to our State and an mDL holds the promise of offering an always-updated, secure credential that will be easy-to-use by our consumers, businesses and law enforcement.”

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