State of digital ID in Pennsylvania
Status: Currently under consideration
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is slowly in the process of developing a mobile driver’s license. As of July, 2023, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) was quoted saying that they understand the desire for a digital ID or mobile drivers license, and that these new document formats are “a part of the conversation.” They also acknowledge that new legislation and changes to regulations will be required to make the Pennsylvania mobile ID useful.
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.
Pennsylvania House Bill 1247
In May 2023, State Representative Dan Miller introduced House Bill 1247 which would create a digital drivers license. The bill has yet to be voted on and remains stalled in Transportation Committee. The purpose of the bill is to amend the definition of a “driver’s license” to encompass digital formats.
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 Miller has been working toward passing a bill for years and does not plan to stop anytime soon: he hopes that mobile IDs 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.
Driving PA Forward Legislation
In August 2023, State Senator Marty Flynn introduced additional legislation, the Driving PA Forward Bill which explicitly directs PennDOT to develop a digital drivers license program. The bill also introduces many other “modernization” changes, including allowing car sales on Sunday, and changes to cannabis-related DUI laws, which make some readers skeptical that the bill will be passed or will push forward the creation of a digital ID in Pennsylvania.