What is a digital driver's license?


​​​What is a DDL and how would you use it?

Today almost no one leaves home without their smartphone, especially not the 77 million millennials that live in the United States. These mobile-first citizens are used to interacting with technology in their daily lives and have come to expect the same level of innovation from their DMV.

A digital driver's license is a highly secure version of your physical driver's license or ID card stored on your smartphone. It is not a replacement for the actual card, rather a supplement to it.

Similar to how credit cards, cash and keys have all begun to evolve to find their place on our smartphones, a digital license on your device means you'll always have it – even if you leave your wallet or purse at home.

How do you get one? Once DDL has been implemented in your state, the enrollment process will be quite simple.

DDL enrollment – there's an app for that

Getting a digital driver's license is easy. When you apply for a new license or a renewal, you'll select the DDL option. The DMV will have a process in place to pair your phone with your profile. You'll download an app on your smartphone, complete the pairing, and your DDL will be downloaded and stored securely on your device.

Once downloaded, no one can access your DDL but you. The app is PIN or fingerprint protected.

Presenting your DDL to law enforcement

It will be up to each individual state and local law enforcement agency to determine what procedure and methods work best within their existing protocol.

The idea is that citizens will be able to present their DDL to law enforcement, and law enforcement will have access to all the information they have from the physical card.

Presenting your DDL for age verification

To buy age-restricted goods like alcohol, the cashier will ask to see your ID. They need to verify it's a valid ID, that you are above the age restriction and that you are indeed the rightful owner of the ID (face matches the picture). They don't need to see your full name, address, and other personal information.

With a DDL, the cashier can scan your DDL and receive real-time confirmation that your ID is valid and you are above the age restriction. They'll also be able to perform a visual confirmation that you indeed the person pictured on the DDL.

Using your DDL with TSA

When going through security at the airport, travelers who prefer to use their mobile device will be able to seamlessly present their digital driver's license using their smartphone. This is similar to scanning a mobile boarding pass.

Airport security personnel will be able to quickly and easily confirm the validity of the credential, using a trusted document verification process.

For more details, inclusing state-by-state initiatives in the USA and a look at international interest, read our article entitled Digital driver’s license - your ID in your smartphone