Delaware becomes second US state to plan driving licence app

28/01/15

Delaware has become the second US state to consider launching a digital driving licence app that would act as a backup for a physical document.

The state’s legislature has adopted a resolution directing the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles (DDMV) to study and consider digital licenses for motorists.

"We'd like to go first," said Jennifer Cohan, director of the DDMV and the governor's nominee for secretary of transportation, told Delaware Online.

The state’s plan reflects a strategy announced last December by Iowa, which plans to pilot the same concept this year before potential introduction in 2016.

The digital driving licence app is being developed by MorphoTrust USA, which supplies both these states and 40 others with physical licences.

MorphoTrust USA began working on the concept two years ago for a mobile app to carry a digital version of driver's licenses.

“We have long believed that there would be a need for secure, convenient digital driver's licences that take the trust and assurance instilled into the physical licences into the mobile world, “‎Jenny Openshaw, VP at MorphoTrust, told Security Document World.

Delaware already allows motorists to show electronic proof of insurance during traffic stops.

The app would display real-time information found on a state driver's license including birthdate, name, address, signature and a photo. However, it may also require biometric data such as facial, fingerprint or voice information, in addition to a personal-identification code to ensure only the ID holder may gain access.

When proposed in Iowa, critics pointed to privacy issues raised by the need to hand a police officer smartphones for scanning, saying that officiers might take the chance to peruse private text messages and photos.

However, Iowa officials have said the state is working with MorphoTrust on a feature that locks the motorist's smartphone once the digital license is up on the screen, so that an officer wouldn't be able to access other content on the device.

Proponents also say point out that apps have the ability to display up-to-date information rather than historic information and that new security features can be developed specifically for devices.

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Proponents also say point out that digital secure docs have the ability to display up-to-date information.
Proponents also say point out that digital secure docs have the ability to display up-to-date information.

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