[COMING SOON] Digital Driver Licenses

Category: Auto

A few months ago, I asked if everyone was ready for a digital driver's license. I noted that limited trials of Digital Driver's Licenses (DDLs) were underway in Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Wyoming and the District of Columbia. Now, Louisiana emerges as the first State to offer a Digital Driver's License to the general public. Read on to see how it works and how it has been received...

Digital Driver's Licenses are Here

In my previous article “Ready for a Digital Driver's License?”, I introduced the notion that an app on your smartphone could soon replace (or at least be a substitute for) the physical driver's license card in your wallet. The Bayou State has moved swiftly, as governments move. Louisiana enacted legislation to pursue a Digital Driver's License two years ago. A local software firm, Envoc, took one year to develop the app known as LA Wallet. The Louisiana Digital Driver's License officially launched in July 2018, and is available for Apple iOS and Android mobile phones. (Sorry, residents of Los Angeles, you'll have to wait a while longer.)

Getting a Digital Driver's License seems simple enough. Just download the app, follow its instructions, and pay $5.99. According to the LA Wallet website, you should consider that you can activate your DDL "for the cost of 1 premium coffee for the life of your current physical license registration." So far, about 77,000 people have installed the app, and 41,000 have paid to activate a Digital Driver's Latte. Oh sorry, I meant License. That’s between 2 and 3 percent of the state's driving population, according to Envoc president Calvin Fabre. He adds that a “big campaign” to inform and recruit users will start in the Spring of 2019.

The Digital Driver's License is accepted by all State law enforcement agencies in Louisiana. If you forget your license at home but have your smartphone, Louisiana State Police will accept your LA Wallet driver’s license. It can be used as identification when voting, and the Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control has blessed it as an acceptable form of age verification. None the less, citizens are advised to hang onto their physical licenses. Merchants are not obliged to accept LA Wallet, and many will be suspicious of the new-fangled ID. The TSA does not yet accept any Digital Driver's License, so LA Wallet can’t be used for air travel, bu they say that's pending approval.

Digital Driver's License

“VerifyYou” is a unique feature of the app that can verify another person’s digital or traditional Louisiana driver’s license in real time. This allows one LA Wallet user to validate another LA Wallet license holder. By scanning a custom generated QR code, a “Verifier” can validate the license validity, coarse age, full name and/or driver’s license number of another LA Wallet user. Meanwhile, the “Presenter” maintains full possession of his or her phone and controls which information is temporarily presented. Only the information the "Presenter" allows to be communicated is visible to the "Verifier." This would be of great use to bouncers, bartenders, shop keepers and others who have to check IDs. They don’t have to become experts in forgery detection, or make snap judgments in bad light. Homeowners could easily verify the identity of contractors who show up to fix the plumbing or babysit. Daycare centers could verify the identity of the parent at pick-up time.

Security and privacy features are built into LA Wallet. Unlike a traditional driver license, it does not reveal personal details unless they are necessary to the immediate circumstances. A cop needs your home address to write a ticket, but most merchants only need to know if you are of legal age. The licensee can choose what data to share. A one-time QR code is generated on the licensee’s phone screen and is captured by the phone camera of the verifying party. Data does not pass through WiFi or Bluetooth networks where it might be intercepted.

The company behind LA Wallet says that they use "a combination of online and offline security technologies, procedures, and organizational measures to help safeguard consumer information against loss, misuse, and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, and destruction." I'm skeptical of the security claims of any Version 1.0 product, so we'll have to wait and see if there are any reports of DDL hacking, spoofing or related identity theft issues.

Other States that are developing Digital Driver's Licenses include Iowa, Colorado, and Maryland, along with the District of Columbia. They will need to arrange reciprocity agreements with Louisiana and other Digital Driver's License states, ensuring that a Digital Driver's License issued in one state is accepted by others. That will also require standardization of Digital Driver's License technology, so that Iowa can read a Louisiana QR code, for instance.

Overall, Digital Driver's License tech seems to be shaping up better than some pessimists thought it would. This could be a rare example of government regulation done right. Let's hope it doesn't get mucked up at the Federal level, or ruined by hacking. Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Would you go for a digital driver's license? Post your comment or question below...

 
Ask Your Computer or Internet Question

  (Enter your question in the box above.)

It's Guaranteed to Make You Smarter...

AskBob Updates: Boost your Internet IQ & solve computer problems.
Get your FREE Subscription!


Email:

Check out other articles in this category:



Link to this article from your site or blog. Just copy and paste from this box:

This article was posted by on 1 Feb 2019


For Fun: Buy Bob a Snickers.

Prev Article:
Are Deep Fakes Getting Too Real?

The Top Twenty
Next Article:
[ALERT] Should You Update Your Drivers?

Most recent comments on "[COMING SOON] Digital Driver Licenses"

(See all 27 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

Robert Quance
01 Feb 2019

This will be another problem when people leave their valid hard copy License home at the international borders and are refused admission or exit out of the USA!!! Even a damaged internationally accepted license causes problems as I have seen when a friend was detained at the border of Canada because his license was not readable by the Canadian Customs dept. and then when he returned US Customs did not want him back into the USA
Not a good idea having something easily hacked even when it is claimed to not be easy to hack.


Posted by:

Michael
01 Feb 2019

"A one-time QR code is generated on the licensee’s phone screen and is captured by the phone camera of the verifying party. Data does not pass through WiFi or Bluetooth networks where it might be intercepted." How does the Verifier (ie. a cop on car or foot patrol) 'translate' the QR code without using a network (eg. cell or WiFi)?

Too easy for a younger sibling (or other person) who looks like you to use to buy alcohol or cigarettes, etc - either using it with your permission or if they happen to know what your passcode is.

Also if you use it with law enforcement, would they have access to other information on your phone?


Posted by:

Nezzar
01 Feb 2019

Thanks for the info, Bob. You are so good at keeping your web readers informed about the latest tech,
I love my Samsung Note 8, but it will not become my drivers' license. However, I wish good luck to all those willing to give it a try.


Posted by:

Pete
01 Feb 2019

I would avoid it as long as possible. Tech is a tool. Like a hammer, it can have good uses and in the wrong hands it be used as a weapon.

I work in a tech based retail store. I’m amazed at how many people store their credit cards on phones or smart watches to use for payment.

If I bring up the subject of credit cards being compromised, I don’t recall a time when a person hasn’t said they’ve had to have their credit card replaced because their issuer asked them if they were purchasing x,y,z in a different state or country. While I am always happy to hear credit card companies noticing these things and taking care of it, it’s interesting how people, myself included, start to think that’s just a normal thing to go through. My wife and I have had different cards issued a few times. Anyway, possibly forgetting to have a point here except that’s credit card companies. Will state governments put that much effort, $, resources into making sure IDs are not compromised and if they are, who’s responsibility will it be to pay for those resources? Our state has had enough trouble just keeping up with the run of the mill projects already in force.

Unfortunately, if something can be done, it seems people believe it must be done and worry about the funding and security when we get there. Sorry for cynicism but guessing I’m in good company here. LOL


Posted by:

Markman
01 Feb 2019

What's the difference if I just take a picture of my driver's license with my cell phone.
They just don't make their $5.99.


Posted by:

Robert T Deloyd
01 Feb 2019

Gosh, with all the data thief going on don't ya think it might get hacked and used as identity thief... no thank you!


Posted by:

Rodger
01 Feb 2019

Ya wright, and nothing will ever go wrong with a driverless car either!


Posted by:

Ken Heikkila
01 Feb 2019

I'm not surprised the paranoid contingent that seems so well represented on this email list is out in force, but it sounds like a good idea that could easily be done well.

I already use my iPhone to breeze through airport check in, TSA precheck with my Known Traveler Number as well as Mobile Pass to get me through Customs with minimal hassle and excellent speed.

I particularly like the VerifyYou feature that could also help people selling personal items to strangers with checks or even credit cards if one uses Square or the like.

I probably would use Apple Pay or the equivalent, but I just haven't bothered to set it up.


Posted by:

Ken Heikkila
01 Feb 2019

I'm not surprised the paranoid contingent that seems so well represented on this email list is out in force, but it sounds like a good idea that could easily be done well.

I already use my iPhone to breeze through airport check in, TSA precheck with my Known Traveler Number as well as Mobile Pass to get me through Customs with minimal hassle and excellent speed.

I particularly like the VerifyYou feature that could also help people selling personal items to strangers with checks or even credit cards if one uses Square or the like.

I probably would use Apple Pay or the equivalent, but I just haven't bothered to set it up.


Posted by:

Kirill
01 Feb 2019

Russians will hack it. 146% guarantee.


Posted by:

Kirill
01 Feb 2019

"This could be a rare example of government regulation done right."

Not thrilled. As I understand, you still need old fashion DL. So, government found a way to charge twice for the same document. I bet pretty soon it will be mandatory. I don't feel it was done right. From government's point of view - possible, but not from mine.


Posted by:

Robinoz
01 Feb 2019

It won't work in Australia because when you move from one state or territory to another, you have to surrender your existing licence and get a new one for the new state. People who are disqualified from driving in one state could produce a DL from another as it would be difficult for authorities to guarantee an old licence was deleted. However, I keep a copy of my DL and other cards in Stocard, an app that comes with iPhones. I've never had to produce it to police, but I use it at post officea for identification when picking up a parcel.


Posted by:

Brian B
01 Feb 2019

So, a picture on a "smart" phone is harder to forge than a hologram embedded plastic licence card ???? I don't think so!


Posted by:

Buffet
01 Feb 2019

Let's just keep it like it's always been, shall we, and dispense with all this nonsensical rubbish.


Posted by:

Jay R
02 Feb 2019

I am sure that I would prefer a digital exam from my proctologist over a digital driver's license. Another bad idea whose time has come. Things like this make me glad that I am old. Thank you for helping me be content with my age, Bob. Love your emails.


Posted by:

RogueLass
03 Feb 2019

Awww c'mon lets go one better... do barcode tats...or microchip implants :) ...'n dont forget to incl. my blood type :)


Posted by:

John Villalobos
04 Feb 2019

Wow! So many skeptics. Personally, I'm liking the idea. I'm 65 years of age and I'm embracing modern technology at least until it proves to be a sinker. Having said that I think I'll find a comfortable seat and watch how it plays out before I test the water.


Posted by:

ross
04 Feb 2019

Believe it or not, Alabama has had this for at least 5 years. It is only available if you renew online. It will add itself into your apple wallet (sorry, its not available for Android).


Posted by:

Jonathan
04 Feb 2019

Hopefully this won't become a requirement everywhere. What will people like me do who don't have a cell or smart phone.


Posted by:

Richard P. Schmitt
25 Feb 2019

Consider that once you give your cell phone to a police officer he or she can download everything from your phone. Do you have any photos that you do not want to share? The police will say that the driver consented to the download of their phone. Who will the judge believe when you say you did not consent?


There's more reader feedback... See all 27 comments for this article.

Post your Comments, Questions or Suggestions

*     *     (* = Required field)

    (Your email address will not be published)
(you may use HTML tags for style)

YES... spelling, punctuation, grammar and proper use of UPPER/lower case are important! Comments of a political nature are discouraged. Please limit your remarks to 3-4 paragraphs. If you want to see your comment posted, pay attention to these items.

All comments are reviewed, and may be edited or removed at the discretion of the moderator.

NOTE: Please, post comments on this article ONLY.
If you want to ask a question click here.

Free Tech Support -- Ask Bob Rankin
RSS   Add to My Yahoo!   Feedburner Feed
Subscribe to AskBobRankin Updates: Free Newsletter
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy


Article information: AskBobRankin -- [COMING SOON] Digital Driver Licenses (Posted: 1 Feb 2019)
Source: https://askbobrankin.com/coming_soon_digital_driver_licenses.html
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved