Virginia mobile driver’s licenses | HB 506

Richmond, Virginia skyline

State of digital IDs in Virginia

Status: Launch delayed

Mobile Driver’s Licenses are in the works for the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. The state announced the their card issuer, CBN, would handle creation of the technology, and initially slated the release of the Virginia mobile ID for July 2023. However, the project has experienced delays and as of February 2023 has no scheduled launch date.

2016 digital ID pilot program

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. This pilot program was managed by CBN, the state’s ID card issuer.

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 15 different, participating businesses around the area. 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 CBN.

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.

Virginia HB 506

If Virginia HB 506 was passed ingets passed, a secondary Virginia mobile drivers license would be a requirement, and Virginia residents would have the option to possess electronic credentials. Businesses would be required to accept these credentials and treat them equally with physical identity documents.

Virginia sample ID

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. 

“What this bill does is it speeds along the Department from Virginia’s DMV’s normal approval process for being able to create a secure digital wallet service; to be able to substitute for your identification card, your driver’s license, or your commercial driver’s license.” This bill moves Virginia along in the process of creating more security for its residents and more usability.
Delegate Mike Mullin

While the mobilized version of driver’s licenses is soon to come, more information will be provided in the coming months regarding the process of downloading your Virginia mDL and the status of the state’s mobile ID program.

Other Virginia mDL resources

Implementation Tracker Map: Virginia (mDL Connection)

Delegate Mike Mullin Introduces House Bill for Electronic DMV Credentials (WYDAILY)

Virginia pilots mobile driver’s license (GCN)