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Miss. Launches Digital Driver's License, Vaccine Certificate

Yesterday, Mississippi announced two new types of digital identification. The first is an app that allows Mississippians to use a digital driver's license. The second is a digital certificate of COVID-19 vaccination.

digital ID card
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(TNS) — Two new forms of digital identification for residents were announced Thursday by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety and the Mississippi State Department of Health.

The Department of Public Safety will launch Mississippi Mobile ID, a digital identification app for smartphones, which will allow users to use their driver's licenses digitally.

Also announced Thursday is a digital certificate of COVID-19 vaccination from the Mississippi State Department of Health through the MyIRmobile.com website.

Both are available now.

"The Mississippi Department of Public Safety is committed to utilizing technology to enhance the quality of our residents' lives," said Commissioner Sean Tindell. "While Mississippi Mobile ID will be voluntary, it is our belief that residents will find this new service to be convenient, secure and private."

Created in partnership with IDEMIA, a biometric and identity solutions provider, the app is protected by FaceID or fingerprint identification, depending on which device the app is used.

Barcodes within the app allow merchants, such as those who sell alcohol, tobacco or other age-restricted products, to verify a person's identity. Users of the app can also adjust privacy settings to allow their age to be verified without having to expose sensitive data such as birth date, height, weight or address.

On the Department of Health website, users will be able to review their immunization record and their children's immunization record as well as download an official digital certificate of COVID-19 vaccination that can be saved on a device and presented as proof of vaccination. Users can also print the certificate from the website.

Both the Mobile ID app and the digital vaccination certificate can used anywhere a physical version of either ID would be requested, and their use is voluntary.

In May, State Rep. Charles Busby, R-Pascagoula, author of House Bill 1371, which allows Mississippi to implement a mobile ID program, told WLBT that the mobile ID would not be available until the second or third quarter of 2022.

Originally, Mississippi officials planned to have one app for multiple forms of identification, like Louisiana's LA Wallet app, that would include hunting and fishing licenses as well as drivers licenses and COVID vaccination cards.

Tindell said at a press conference in October that in order to meet a November deadline set by the bill, the first rollout of the app will not include hunting and fishing licenses but they could be added later.

At the same press conference, Tindell also said using the mobile ID, law enforcement will not need to ask for a physical ID and will be able to identify a driver as they are approaching a vehicle through Bluetooth. It is unclear whether the app released Thursday contains those capabilities.

The MobileID app can be downloaded through the App Store or Google Play. For assistance with the MyIRmobile website, visit HealthyMS.com/myIR for full instructions or by calling 1-877-978-6453 or 601-576-7751.

©2021 The Sun Herald, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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