A digital driver's license enables a resident to conveniently carry a highly secure version of their driver's license or identification credential on a mobile device, as a supplement to their existing physical card.
The digital license looks like the physical license and contains the same information, but with added high-tech security features available only through digital technology. That includes elements like presentation of dynamic data with limited time use, encryption of personal information, prevention of unauthorized user access, and real-time verification, etc.
In fact, a complete, secure software infrastructure is put in place at the DMV to ensure the security, privacy and integrity of the credential data throughout its lifetime. This rich solution exists to generate, provision, store, present and verify the credential.
In most cases, the DDL easily integrates with a DMV's existing backend system of capturing an applicant's personal information and managing any necessary updates to this information once the credential is in the field. This data is then loaded to an app on the user's smartphone. Once the user's identity is verified and pairing with their phone has been completed, the credential is downloaded directly to the secure DDL application from the DMV database using advanced encryption.
What Makes a DDL Secure?
A digital driver's license provides the highest level of security in credential storage, data transmission, and verification, and is much harder to alter or duplicate than a typical physical document.
On the smartphone, the digital credential is protected by additional layers of security, such as a PIN or fingerprint.
And what happens if the smartphone is lost or stolen? The digital license can be remotely deactivated or wiped almost instantly from the smartphone, giving the user the added peace of mind in knowing that their information is protected.
Privacy by Design
When you need to show your digital driver's license, the smartphone never needs to leave your hand. You'll simply hold your device to show the credential as a dynamic barcode, which will then be scanned by a verification device belonging to the other party in the transaction.
This device, which can be a smartphone, tablet or a simple barcode or QR code scanner, runs software that can read the presented barcode and run a real-time check.
To comply with PII policy, no footprint is left on the verification device and no geolocation tagging or tracking of user information occurs.
Another great feature of DDL is that its owner can control which data to share and with whom. For example, while law enforcement needs to have access to all the information on your driver's license, a liquor retailer would really only need to confirm the validity of the license, the buyer's age, and the user's likeness to the photo. The cardholder can choose which data to share based on the use case, keeping any information non-essential to that transaction private.
Read more in our article about DDL privacy protection
Advantages for the Jurisdiction and Residents
- Rapid identification of fraudulent credentials: Thanks to real-time verification, a fraudulent credential would quickly and easily be identified as invalid. This makes verifying even out-of-state credentials significantly faster and more reliable.
- Increased security of temporary and interim documents: These documents normally lack the security sophistication of a permanent license for cost efficiency. However, a digital version of these documents would have the same strong security features as the permanent license, and can also be revoked immediately when expired or replaced.
- Credential renewal or expiration: The DMV can update the status of a digital credential remotely. The smartphone app can alert you when your license is about to expire or has been revoked.
- Improved convenience: The DDL allows residents to have an ID even when they leave their physical wallet at home, and it provides a secure backup in the event that the physical DL/ID is lost or stolen.