Iowa to launch digital driver’s licenses by replacing plastic licenses.


Iowa plans to introduce digital drivers’ licenses to abandon plastic licenses. This idea was initiated a year back and its under testing stage now.

US has announced this Wednesday that a live testing will be conducted for this application called the Mobile Driver License (mDL) in a number of places very soon. However, the testing will be narrowed to hundreds of Iowa’s employees working in the department of transportation.

The driving license on your smartphone looks exactly like a normal driver’s license, which includes a photo, date of birth, address and license expiration date. A video demonstration showed a phone screen and with a swipe, it turns the license which reveals a bar code and the class of the license.

Till now the best feature that makes mDL stand out is that it allows the Department of Motor Vehicles to immediately update any information that may change, for instance, if a driver reaches the age of 21, the information will get updated instantly.

The officials can check the legitimacy of the mDL by using MorphoTrust’s verification app that performs as a mobile watermark reader. A police officer can check the identity and license details of a driver without touching the driver’s phone by using this verification app.

The only issue is that it raises the question of privacy with regard to the data on your smartphone. There are chances, that your personal data can be scanned easily via other smartphone. If you have ever experienced QR code scanning with your smartphone, you would know how complicated mobile scanning could be. However, the Supreme Court has recently notified all the officials that without a search warrant nobody is allowed to search anything on anybody’s smartphone.

Paul Trombino, director of the Iowa Department of Transportation says “Although we’re not yet ready to release the mDL for customer use, the lessons learned in this pilot will demonstrate the use case for our mDL Application to be offered in the future as an option to all citizens across the state, the pilot program may also help guide other states who want to launch similar digital identity programs. I firmly believe this is an important first step in creating a one person, one identity, and one credential opportunity for our customers.”