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Soon you can DID it

Posted February 22, 2022 in News

Written by John Shea III, Xpanxion Technical Writer

Hands holding passports and id information

DID it? Not a grammatical error but Digital ID, like your driver’s license. 

Necessary Photos 

There are probably six or seven things you need to keep on your phone as photos: 

  1. COVID vaccination card 
  2. There is a growing need for this to be displayed, either in a job locale, entertainment venue, or for travel. 
  3. Driver’s license 
  4. We’ll get to that in a moment 
  5. Car’s license plate, VIN number, and proof of auto insurance 
  6. Medical and dental insurance cards 
  7. Passport info 
  8. Useful when traveling internationally 
  9. Car rental agreement, along with before and after photos of the vehicle you rented to prove you did not cause any damage or if you did for insurance purposes 
  10. Your Airbnb or other rental property 

Take a selfie in front of the rental. The photo will be geotagged that way. You can get directions back to the rental that way. 

Digital Driver’s License 

Also known as Mobile Driver’s Licenses (mDLs). More than 20 states are looking into creating a digital version of it. Once in your phone, it can be scanned by law enforcement, the TSA in the security line, and any bar or restaurant where proof of age is needed for alcohol consumption. Apple says that so far Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah are signaling support for the feature on its iPhones. Florida will come on board in November (It already has a SmartID app but you still must carry your plastic laminated license). 

Google is building support for IDs into their Android phones and teamed up with Apple and other companies to define technical standards. The code already exists in Android 11 and 12 but Google has not said they plan to store digital state IDs in any of its apps yet. 

If you live in Arizona, Delaware, or Oklahoma, you don’t have to go with Apple. These states already have a digital ID app developed by Idemia, a company that helped the TSA with its PreCheck frequent flyer program. 

Louisiana and Colorado have their own apps. Lawmakers in Illinois, New Jersey, Missouri, Texas, and California have proposed program but so far nothing is enacted. Pilot programs are going on in Iowa, Maryland, Virginia, Utah, and Florida. 

Advice: Check with your state’s license bureau to see if and when they will add the digital ID. The number of states keeps changing and growing as apps are developed and rolled out for both iOS and Android phones. 

Nothing is standardized yet. Different states use different technologies to make the digital content. Some use a QR code for just a privacy view. Only the pertinent info is seen. 

The plastic laminated IDs will still be good for a long time, though, so no need to worry if you don’t have a Smartphone or are worried about hackers getting your phone information. 

Suppose you get pulled over in Louisiana on your way to the casinos in Bossier City. By showing your phone to the officer, does that give them consent to investigate other parts of the phone? There’s law on the books that say displaying a digital driver’s license “shall not serve as consent or authorization for a law enforcement officer, or any other person, to search, view, or access any other data or application on the mobile device.” Hopefully, this law will be used in other states as soon as they go digital. Don’t worry about Colorado, their law enforcement officers are trained not to handle other people’s phones. 

Last Resort is First Resort 

Until development and the law get things sorted out, keep your plastic handy. 

With Xpanxion’s Solutions and Alliances, you can take advantage of our Advanced Automation, Cybersecurity, and Data and Analytics expertise and be more aware of the coming technology changes that affect you. 

Xpanxion: How can we help solve your business problem? 


About Xpanxion - Solving business problems with technology. We are software product engineering experts with over 20+ years of experience delivering the technologies, software architectures, processes and people critical to delivering success. As a trusted partner, we focus on business solutions and alliances that provide end-to-end value to solving our customer’s problems. We focus on providing best-in-class solutions by developing custom solutions with modern technologies or by delivering industry recognized off the shelf solutions.

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