North Dakota mobile driver’s license available soon

Mt. Rushmore in North Dakota

State of digital ID in North Dakota

On April 19 of 2021, North Dakota officials gave HB 1072 the green light; this bill calls for the creation of a mobile driver’s license (mDL) for the state of North Dakota. The bill possess further information on the adoption of mDLs into the state:

  • “The department shall implement a computerized licensing system that allows a licensed motor vehicle operator to provide electronic proof of valid licensing on an electronic communications device.
  • The electronic proof of valid licensing may be used: a. When being stopped by a law enforcement officer for the purpose of enforcing or investigating the possible violation of an ordinance or state law; or b. For identification purposes.
  • In case of a discrepancy between a physical and electronic credential, the electronic credential takes priority and is considered to provide the current information.”

As stated in the details of HB 1072, the North Dakota mobile driver’s license is to be safe and secure. It is a voluntary purchase (less than $1 per person) and will not take the place of physical driver’s licenses. The <$1 fee will go toward security and maintenance of the system. Furthermore, physical IDs will still be necessary for citizens with other state IDs, as they will not have access to North Dakota’s mDL system with a different state ID. 

The state is working toward implementing a “QR code method, where the driver simply scans a barcode from the officer to authorize transmission of the driver’s data.” The driver’s data will be safely stored in the app, only revealing relevant information to the business or state authority; therefore, one’s personal information such as address and weight remain secure, as it may not be relevant to the situation.

North Dakota has not mentioned how their mDL will be offered to its residents. The state currently hosts an app called ND Drive in which residents can update their address, renew their vehicle registration, and more. This app does not currently have access to residents’ mobile IDs; however, the state may add this component to the app for easy access. Other options for mobile IDs include Apple Wallet and state-verified wallet apps. Stay tuned for more information regarding the state’s progress in this matter!

Other North Dakota mDL resources

A Driver’s License Is Coming to Your Smartphone After North Dakota Gives Approval (The Dickinson Press)

Update On Mobile Driver’s Licenses in North Dakota (KFGO)

A North Dakota Digital Driver’s License, Coming Soon to Your Smartphone? (InForum)