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Delaware DMV Announces Mobile Identification Smartphone App

Delaware is one of the first states to unveil a mobile license option through a new smartphone app. The DMV says that the mobile ID app will hopefully prevent identity theft.

by Amanda Parrish, Dover Post / March 11, 2021

(TNS) — Delaware drivers who get pulled over by a state trooper on the highway will soon be able to pull out their smartphone instead of their wallet when they are asked to show their driver's license.

The Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles launched an app Tuesday called Delaware Mobile ID that offers digital identification for the state's more than 800,000 driver's licenses and ID cardholders, according to a release from the DMV.

The DMV says mobile ID will help prevent identity theft. It requires users to take a picture of the front and back of their ID, as well as a photo of their face to compare against the individual's file with the Delaware DMV. Users then unlock the app using their face or fingerprints. Mobile ID offers privacy control options that allow the user to verify they are of legal age, while hiding unnecessary information such as their address.

The Delaware DMV and IDEMIA — the company that produces the state's physical driver's licenses and identification cards — ran a pilot study for the mobile license in 2018, which included about 200 state employees and stakeholders.

"Mobile ID has additional benefits that a physical identification card simply does not have, and Delaware is proud to be one of the first states to pilot this technology," Jana Simpler, director of the Delaware DMV, said in the release. "We are happy to be able to provide this voluntary option to our customers."

They tested for secure access, ease of use, business acceptance, enhanced privacy for age verification and law enforcement use during a traffic stop. As of now, Delawareans can't use mobile ID during a traffic stop, but DMV public information officer Marinah Carver said they are currently working with law enforcement agencies so this is an option in the future.

"They are aware and interested in the mobile ID, we just don't have that technology as of yet."

So where can the mobile ID be used right now? Carver said some liquor stores and restaurants, such as Greene Turtle, are accepting the mobile ID as part of their Delaware Mobile ID Adopter program, but only a handful at this time.

Since not all businesses and law enforcement agencies are using the app yet, Carver said everyone should continue to carry a physical ID, even if they are using the mobile option.

The state noted that someone is still legally required to present a physical driver's license if requested.

Delaware was one of the first states to test and launch digital licenses, along with Iowa, Oklahoma, Colorado, Maryland Idaho and Wyoming.

"Delaware's release of Mobile ID technology is a significant step in bringing citizens a secure identification option at their fingertips," Matt Thompson, senior vice president of Civil and Mobile ID of IDEMIA, said in the release. "We are pleased to continue our longstanding partnership with Delaware to unveil this innovative technology as the state pioneers this new industry."

©2021 Dover Post, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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