The shift towards mobile wallets and hands free solutions, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has led to a sea of change in how consumers think about their wallet. Tools such as ApplePay and Venmo have eliminated the need to carry cash, or even credit cards. Many state law enforcement agencies are accepting proof of insurance from a phone. And now, jurisdictions are rapidly rolling out the mobile driver’s license (mDL) as a companion to physical, printed IDs.
Louisiana was the first state to launch a digital ID, LA Wallet, in 2018. But since then, more than 15 other states have launched, or announced intentions to launch, their own mobile ID. Consumer searches for terms like “electronic drivers license” and “drivers license on phone” have risen up to 400% since 2017 according to Google Trends.
“The desire for age and identity verification software which can accept mobile IDs has risen substantially in just the last year. Businesses are challenged with finding elegant solutions that can authenticate physical identity documents and read digital credentials from multiple jurisdictions, given the lack of a federal standard.
IDScan.net CTO, Andrey Stanovnov
Because there is no federal standard for digital IDs, each state is free to utilize a solution of their choice. Arizona, Maryland, and Colorado are currently live with an Apple Wallet-powered mDL. Georgia, New York, Kentucky, and Utah are among states which have announced future plans to integrate with Apple. Apple users provide initial identity verification by uploading a photo of their ID, and walking through a guided selfie identity check. The app then uses near field communication (NFC) to securely transmit ID data to approved vendors.
Delaware, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Louisiana each have proprietary apps. Louisiana’s LAWallet app additionally includes a digital vaccine card, hunting and fishing licenses, concealed handgun permits and the ability to renew or order a duplicate license with the click of a button. These applications expose a 2D (PDF417) barcode, which allows for ID scanning through the same processes as a business would scan a physical ID.
Although all 50 states continue to issue physical licenses, and some insist that mDLs are only meant to serve as “companions” to physical licenses, usage in states with mDLs continues to rise. According to Envoc, developer of the LA Wallet, more than 66% of eligible Louisiana residents have installed the app, and of those who downloaded, they see frequent usage suggesting use of the app as their primary method for providing ID.
“Louisiana has seen many ‘firsts’ and successes with its resident-focused digital credential,” says Calvin Fabre, President of Envoc. “Our residents are the true winners in the digital credentials race.”
Envoc has also performed over 700,000 face-to-face verifications using the LA Wallet app, and over 1.4 million remote identity verifications relying parties involving the digital version of the driver’s license.
The key remaining barrier to widespread adoption is acceptance at TSA checkpoints for domestic travel. However, TSA recently announced acceptance of Arizona and Maryland digital IDs at select airports, with a plan to roll out additional eligibility for more states. Bars and nightclubs, dispensaries, and law enforcement organizations, are already accepting digital drivers licenses that present a 2D barcode (LAWallet, MyColorado). Businesses will require an NFC-capable reader, and use of an approved application, in order to accept IDs via the Apple Wallet.
IDScan.net is a leading identity verification platform focused on detecting the highest percentage of fraud for high compliance industries. The company has enhanced environments and experiences for over 7,500 clients including IBM, Shell, AMC Theaters, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Dave & Busters, and many more of the world’s most trusted brands.
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