State of digital ID in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is slowly in the process of developing a mobile driver’s license. A mobile driver’s license is just that – a digitized version of your physical driver’s license available on your smartphone. In PA, this mDL would be optional: according to PA local news, “the current bill reads that you would still need to have a physical copy of your license, but an app would give you the option to carry just the digital version.” Physical IDs will still be issued and will work the same.
Representative Dan Miller has been influenced by founding mobile ID state Louisiana when it released its LA Wallet app for residents. Since then, more states have released mDL apps, allowing for more influence for PA’s app. States such as Louisiana, Maryland, and Arizona have already launched electronic IDs. States such as Hawaii, Kentucky, and Virginia are currently piloting platforms for mobile driver’s licenses.
Representative Miller has been working toward passing a bill with Congress for years and does not plan to stop anytime soon: he hopes that mobile IDs can become law within the first six months of this year and that the mDL can come into fruition and be available for residents within the year after the law is passed. He sent a memo to fellow representatives, saying that he will re-introduce legislation regarding the option to download a mobile version of their driver’s licenses.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is interested in the mobile IDs and is working toward developing a software that can be used by all residents. It is unclear whether the mobile ID would be kept in one’s Apple Wallet or if it would be a separately downloaded app. Louisiana has its own app dedicated to mDLs, whereas Connecticut mDLs are offered through the Apple Wallet. So, both ways are possible; it is just up to PennDOT as to which suits them better.