4 Jurisdictions to Pilot Digital Driver's Licenses

The pilot programs will attempt to improve the way people present and prove their identity.

by Chhun Sun, The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) / November 16, 2016

(TNS) -- Perhaps in the near future, you won't have to dig through your purse or wallet to take out your driver's license. It could be as easy as pulling out a smartphone.

The Colorado Department of Revenue announced on Tuesday that the state's DMV will participate in a two-year pilot program that aims to provide Coloradans a digital version of their driver license. It attempts to improve the way people present and prove their identity.

"We are very excited about this opportunity to embrace new technology," Department of Revenue Executive Director Barbara Brohl said in a statement. The DMV "is constantly looking for ways to improve customer convenience and make our services easily accessible for all residents, and this is certainly a step in that direction."

The project, titled the Interoperable, Trusted Ecosystem for Digital Driver Licenses and ID Cards on Mobile Devices for U.S. Jurisdictions, will not immediately do away with physical driver licenses, said Department of Revenue spokeswoman Lynn Granger.

"I think we're a little too early to determine that," she said. "I think we're certainly conducting the pilot program to see if that's an option."

A start date for the pilot program has not been set, Granger said.

In August, the U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology awarded $2 million to digital security company Gemalto Inc. to develop a digital driver license through a mobile application for DMVs in Colorado, Idaho, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

The funding is part of a $15 million effort to create more secured access to state and local government and health services.

Other agencies that received money were the Cedars-Sinai Medial Center in Los Angeles, the Florida Department of Revenue's Child Support Program, the Ohio Department of Administrative Services and the Austin, Texas-based digital security company ID.me, Inc.

Another online security company, Yubico Inc. in Palo Alto, Calif,, received $2.3 million toward providing educational resources for students in Wisconsin and state services for Colorado residents.

"These grants are playing an important role in creating options for proving identity online and ensuring the privacy and security of our personal date," NIST director Willie E. May said in a statement.

©2016 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.