As a frequent traveler and businessman, I need to carry identification on me at all times. Whether I am checking in at the airport to go to my next conference or meeting, renting a car, checking into a hotel, or even getting through security at my destination, I reach into my wallet and pull out the one physical identification card that is universally accepted as proof of my identity – my state-issued driver’s license. Ironically. the last time I had to show my driver’s license for something actually related to driving other than a rental car was when I had to stand in line at the state motor vehicle agency to get my license renewed.
I carry more than a dozen cards in my wallet that I show people to obtain other services, like my gym membership, my shopping club, my airline club, and my health insurance card. Those cards give me access to those specific services, but they don’t carry the same trusted proof of who I am as my driver’s license does.
In recent years, mobile wallets began to allow for the storage and presentment of many of these cards on a mobile phone, except for a driver’s license – but that’s about to change. Mobile driver’s licenses (mDLs) are coming, and the Secure Technology Alliance and the U.S. Payments Forum are helping to make this happen sooner.
The Secure Technology Alliance recently announced a new Identity Council-led project to rally together mobile identity experts and industry leaders supplying secure, standards-based driver’s license technology to state motor vehicles agencies. The project is designed to educate potential relying parties of the uses and benefits of mobile driver’s licenses. The Alliance is partnering with key stakeholders who are going to usher in the further expansion of mDLs by examining the ISO standards under development and working with key organizations like AAMVA, who represents the digital identity needs for all state motor vehicles agencies.
The goal of our mobile driver’s license initiative is to identify the requirements of retailers, financial institutions, aviation security agencies, government organizations, healthcare providers and others for using mDLs to prove identities for a wide variety of uses. Along with proving identity, mDLs will be able to deliver relevant attributes such as age, photo image, home address, and certain permits or privileges that have been granted to the individual presenting the mDL. All of these uses can be delivered with enhanced security and convenience via a mobile device and can give consumers control to present only the limited personal information needed for that particular use of their mobile identity. For instance, if you have to show you are above the legal age to purchase alcohol, you do not have to share your home address, height and weight with the retailer.
We believe the mobile driver’s license will be a transformative technology shift in digital identification, much as NFC and mobile wallets have transformed digital payments. Hopefully it will result in me not having to carry any plastic cards on my business trips. To learn more about this exciting new Identity Council initiative, visit the Mobile Driver’s License Initiative web site for more details and for information on how to join in this effort.