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It’s Happening: Digital Driver’s Licenses Coming to Smartphones

Smartphones have become an extension to our bodies, and we use them for pretty much everything these days, including not only for the typical calls and messaging, but also for paying, managing our passwords, and storing health information.
Thales will build the dedicated app for authentication 1 photo
And drivers in Florida could soon get another purpose for their smartphones.

Local authorities plan to launch a pilot program in December to determine whether switching to a digital driver’s license stored on a smartphone is a feasible solution in the long term.

So together with security firm Thales, which will be in charge of launching the dedicated smartphone app and perform the obvious verifications, Florida authorities plan to provide residents with the choice of getting a digital driver’s license, in addition to the physical one that’s already available.

As compared to Louisiana, which launched a very limited program in this regard, Florida is aiming for the sky with this new effort. And given it already received the blessing of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, the digital driver’s license could replace a traditional card rather sooner than later.

This project comes with a series of benefits for drivers who choose the digital version.

First and foremost, not only can they leave their documents at home and only carry around a smartphone, but the same digital record can be used for identification. And what’s more, users can just decide how much information they want to show when presenting this digital driver’s license for identification. For example, when walking into a bar and you need to prove you’re over 21, you can just launch this dedicated app and with a tap of a button show only the photo and the birthdate, without revealing the address and other sensitive data.

Louisiana only allows the digital driver’s license to be used for traffic checks, so theoretically, Florida wants to completely replace the document in the long term.

There’s obviously the security concern related to the project, but this is why Thales is involved in the first place. The data would be stored in the cloud and could be possibly allowed to roam between devices, so authorities need to make sure hackers won’t be able to access it.

On the phone, all details can be protected with a password or biometric authentication, and Thales says users would also have an option to delete everything if they lose their devices.

The new project is supposed to go live for everybody in 2021, and it already meets the requirements of the International Organization for Standardization, which means digital driver’s licenses could eventually be used beyond the borders of the U.S. too.

press release
 
 
 
 
 

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