State of Digital ID in Virginia
Mobile Driver’s Licenses are in the works for the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. The state conducted a proof of concept in 2016, which lasted three months, to test how feasible Virginia mobile driver’s licenses are within the state, with most users ensuring the mDL’s credibility and security. In this pilot program, citizens in the Richmond area were permitted to download the mobile driver’s license app and use it for age verification in different places around the area that participated in the program. The pilot app gave users a QR code that changed with each launch of the app. When using the app, bartenders or cashiers scanned the QR code, which was then sent to Canada Bank Note Secure Technologies.
GCN explains this further: “Once received, the CBN server used the information in the driving record to construct and send back a profile to the retailer that included a picture of the driver, an indicator as to whether the driver was over the age of 18, a separate indicator as to whether the driver was over the age of 21, and a date and time stamp. No customer birth dates were shared.” Residents felt secure using the app, as their information was privately investigated.
The current law permits DMVs to supply customers with an ID verification system, but it is not required to do so. If Virginia HB 506 gets passed, a secondary Virginia mobile drivers license would be a requirement, and Virginia residents would have the option to possess electronic credentials. The state of Virginia would be within the third set of states to have access to mobile driver’s licenses, coming after states such as Louisiana and Maryland.
With this new bill, Virginia mobile driver’s licenses will be offered by July of 2023. An individual must already own a physical driver’s license to obtain a mobile driver’s license.
Additionally, individuals will be able to use this mDL independent of their physical IDs. This software will get you into anywhere an ID is required; this list ranges from a small market to TSA in the airport.
While the mobilized version of driver’s licenses is soon to come, you should still carry a physical ID for the time being. Virginia law enforcement does not currently accept mDLs. More information will be provided in the coming months regarding the process of downloading your mDL and where to do so.