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Mobile Driver's Licenses and IDs: The Next National Trend of Identification




History in the making, mobile IDs are now accepted in different States in USA. Public Officers in the notarial field will need to keep an eye on its development and visit the notarial laws of their States in regards to accepting this type of identification for ID verification.

During the 2022 NASS Summer Conference, Notary Public Administrators (NPA) gathered along with NPA’s industry members. One of the subjects on the NPA’s conference pipeline was mobile IDs. During the presentation, details on functionality of mobile IDs were shared. For example: when a person’s physical driver’s license expires, the mobile driver’s license will also expire. Additionally, on a mobile ID, the user’s information refreshes every 30 days and can be stored on one mobile phone only.

In Louisiana, where the 2022 NASS Summer Conference took place, a holder of a mobile ID or mobile driver’s license must store it in an application known as “LA Wallet”. Other States, such as Arizona, Delaware, Oklahoma, and Mississippi allow users to store mobile IDs in the Apple Wallet.


What is a Mobile Driver’s License (mDL)?

A mobile driver’s license (mDL) is a digital version of your driver’s license or State-issue ID stored in an application on your smart phone that can be used to verify your identity in person or during online transactions. The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) believes that mDL is the future of licensing and proof of identity.

The Federal Register, official journal of the federal government of the United States, defines the mDL as a digital representation of the identity information contained on a state-issued physical DL/ID.


According to govtech.com, Arizona was the first State to allow the use of digital IDs store in the Apple Wallet. Homeland Security also announced through its website hstoday.us that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) deployed a new technology that allows passengers to use mobile IDs stored in the Apple Wallet application uploaded to iPhones or Apple Watch.

Idemia, the technology provider of mobile driver’s licenses/IDs in Arizona, Delaware. Oklahoma, and Mississippi, describes its technology as “Augmented Identification”. If you notice, it has the same initials as Artificial Intelligence (AI). Also, the use of the word “Augmented” brings to my attention the concept of ‘Augmented Reality’ which is the interactive experience of a real-world environment where objects are enhanced by computer generated visualization in order to stimulate users’ perception.

Other Technology providers for the development and implementation of mobile driver’s licenses are Envoc and Morpho Trust.


When did the interest on mDLs began?

According to a mobile driver’s license study published by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles in 2016, Iowa was the first state to study the use of mobile driver’s licenses.


RON Platforms and Mobile IDs

As of July 2022, I do not know of any RON platform accepting mobile driver’s licenses or mobile IDs. May it become a possibility in the future, RON platforms would have to partner with the mobile ID technology providers and integrate it to the platforms or wait until the current technology used to verify signers integrates mobile IDs capabilities. Prior to making that big move, RON platforms should check with implemented notarial laws and find out if mobile DL/ID is an acceptable method of verification during Remote Online Notarization transactions.


MDLs seems to be a two thumbs-up technology accepted by many already. As any new technology, there will be lists of pros and cons. As we become more digitally oriented in the United States of America, let us continue to put in practice cyber-awareness.


Today, CNVTA recommends Remote Online Notaries to always ask signers to show their Identification on camera even if they have passed the RON platform ID verification process. Now, once mobile driver’s licenses and mobile Ids are legally on board during remote online notarizations, it is my hope that RON notaries still ask signers to show a tangible Identification.


Remote Online Notaries keep those computer screens non-reflective, clean, and as big as possible, so you can see your signer’s IDs better. Your states are counting on you.