The project was initiated late last summer in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Transportation (DoT). The idea is pretty straightforward: To create digital, smartphone-based driver licenses. They function just like any traditional card-based driver license, but with added capabilities, such as allowing holders to update their personal information online, and letting police officers access driver license information before they even approach a car they have stopped.
The mDLs also offer added security by way of biometrics. The app features a facial recognition system that requires a user to take a selfie, which is then compared against the individual’s image on file in the state’s databases. It isn’t yet clear whether the facial matching will ultimately be required in every instance of the app’s use or only at registration, but in any case the capability for biometric authentication is in place.
MorphoTrust executive John Hilliard says that user surveys already “show a high level of satisfaction,” suggesting a bright future for the mDL concept. The company is extending the current trial project to the end of June with plans for a second, more expansive phase to follow.
June 17, 2016 – by Alex Perala