State of Digital ID in Alabama
Alabama updated their laws to allow for the possibility of digital IDs back in November 2015. The mobile driver’s license was announced in 2018. At the time, representatives from Alabama Law Enforcement said that the digital ID could be sent to a smartphone and stored in the user’s Apple Wallet. However, as of June 2023 Alabama is not one of the states with native integration to Apple Wallet. The only states with active integrations are Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, and Maryland.
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) may issue a digital copy of a driver’s license or non-driver identification card pursuant to Section 32-6-1, Code of Ala. 1975, that may be displayed through an ALEA approved mobile or other software application on a wireless communications or mobile electronic device.
The digital driver’s license or non-driver identification card may contain all information present on a physical license or identification card. In addition, a digital license or identification card may include a bar code or other mechanism, as created or approved by ALEA that may be scanned or otherwise utilized to reveal the information.
A licensee may produce an ALEA approved digital copy of his or her license in lieu of possessing a physical license when operating a motor vehicle or vessel. This can be done by downloading the Alabama eID app from either the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. Users complete a short registration, verify their identities by scanning their physical ID, and then taking a selfie with their smartphone for matching purposes.
How Does the mDL Work?
Upon demand of a judge of any court in this state, a peace officer, or a state trooper, or any other state or local government entity a licensee may produce an ALEA approved digital license or non-driver identification card, and it will be recognized as though it was a physical license or identification card. The Secretary or his/her designee shall deem how a digital copy of a driver’s license or identification card is accepted.
If the licensee displays the digital driver’s license or identification card through the ALEA approved mobile application, the person is not implicitly consenting to allow access or to search other contents of the wireless communication or electronic device other than provided for by law.