State of digital ID in Washington
The state of Washington is working to pass a bill that asks the Department of Licensing to create an implementation plan by the end of this year for Washington mobile driver’s licenses (mDLs). This bill includes “assessing technical infrastructure to ‘maximize interoperability, utility, and privacy protection.’”
States such as Colorado, Maryland, and Arizona already allow residents to use mobile driver’s licenses, while other states like Washington are still working on implementation. It seems as though if residents have a mobile ID, they will not need to also present their physical ID. When visiting other states, though, Washington state residents should ensure they have their physical ID to present.
Senator Mark Mullet, who is a sponsor of the bill SB 5105, told GeekWire the following: “I learned from the ease of having vaccine information on your cell phone why it would make sense to also offer this option for folks when it comes to their driver’s license.” After seeing how well the online vaccine card worked for residents, Mullet was influenced to continue the availability of documents on mobile devices. Credit cards and debit cards are also conveniently accessible on Apple Wallet, allowing for further digitally available documents. Some states offer access to mDLs via Apple Wallet, as opposed to a separately downloaded app. Google is reportedly working toward creating similar support via the Google Wallet.
Further security features can be used to access Washington mobile driver’s licenses. Fingerprint or face unlocking may be required to access the mDL. The mDLs increase security regarding your driver’s license, as they only reveal relevant information like your age when ordering a drink at a bar.