The option to upload one’s mobile driver’s license (mDL) is now offered in several U.S. states, as additional states have pilot projects underway. It’s as simple as using an app to upload a valid license or state-issued ID card to your Smartphone. Or is it so simple?

Last year, Homeland Security Today explained in that “MDL adoption is not as easy as the state motor vehicle department emailing electronic driver’s licenses. Its implementation requires an ecosystem (e.g., reader devices, cyber infrastructure, security and privacy standards, and Public Key Infrastructure services) to support the provisioning, issuance, acceptance, and authentication of mDLs, which will not have the physical characteristics, such as embedded and invisible security features, that current government IDs possess.”

The complexity of building a mobile Driver’s License ecosystem is based on a Triangle of Trust linking issuers, credentials/users, and relying parties. Relying parties are organizations such as government agencies, law enforcement, and banks that need to trust the validity of an mDL presented to them as proof identity. To that end, the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have been working together on the standards-development process and conducting interoperability testing and development of privacy and security recommendations. 

mDL interoperability put to the test

Fast forward to August 2023, as interoperability testing is in full swing. Last week, Biometric Update reported that SpruceID is running a test of mobile driver’s license interoperability along with government officials and businesses working on digital identity standardization…The American Association of Motor Vehicle Authorities (AAMVA) and members of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC17/WG10 are collaborating with SpruceID on the test.

Participants in the test include NIST, and companies such as Google, Panasonic, Samsung, and Okta. The participants are encouraged to test their verifier or mDL app implementations with both OpenID4VP and RestAPIs…A report on the results of the test will be published following completion to help guide the alignment of global standards.”

How do REAL ID requirements factor in?

Even though several states now offer or are piloting mobile driving and ID credentials, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has yet to layer REAL ID Act requirements into mobile driver’s license standards. So last month, the DHS announced that it would temporarily waive some REAL ID requirements for agencies accepting state-issued mobile driver’s licenses.


Biometric Update

Homeland Security Today 

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The Keesing Platform team brings you the latest in various fields, including security documents, security printing, banknotes, identity management, biometrics, blockchain, crypto technology and online onboarding.

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