Drivers in Mississippi now have the option of storing their drivers license information in a secure digital format, reports OpenGov Asia. Using the Mississippi Mobile ID is voluntary, but has the support of the Mississippi Department of Safety. As Sean Tindall, DPS Commissioner, noted, “While Mississippi Mobile ID will be voluntary; it is our belief that residents will find this new service to be secure, private and convenient.”
Louisiana was the first state to launch a digital drivers license program, the LA Wallet app. An unnamed software firm in Louisiana working on the app provided its services for free, working with the Louisiana State Police and the Department of Public Safety. LA Wallet already stores 670,000 drivers licenses. The state also expanded the app to allow users to store their covid vaccine records. Other states, including Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah have similar programs under development and expect their states drivers to have a digital storage option soon.
While states are likely to include their own variants, the Mississippi app, for example, only stores the uploaded information in the state’s system of record, and on the user’s phone. After scanning the front and back of the physical drivers license, the information is verified by the Department of Motor Vehicles and is available to be accessed at the user’s request. The user can choose what information it then wants to share with another party, like showing just age verification for an alcohol purchase rather than revealing all the driver’s personal information.
To access the stored information, the Mississippi Mobile ID user sets their phone permissions and opt to pull up their information after providing a password, fingerprint, or face ID verification. Users can also make some verifications to their information, such as a change of address within the state. The Mississippi Department of Safety has said that it sees the digital ID as a strong fraud deterrent.
As the source notes, no matter how secure the technology is, the public has to trust that the stored personal information is safe. The speedy verification of drivers license information, or health status, has its pluses, but people will need to adopt it on a large scale for it to truly thrive.