The US state of California is planning to launch a digital driving licence that users will be able to store in a digital wallet on their smartphone, the state governor Gavin Newsom has revealed.
Newsom made the announcement while launching the state governor’s budget summary for 2023-24, and said that the service would begin rolling out “in just a matter of months” as part of the state’s ongoing project to implement a digital ID system.
“The California Department of Technology (CDT) continues progress on the Digital Identification project, creating a single digital identifier aimed at eliminating the need for California residents to provide their identity and manage multiple user IDs across various websites to obtain state services,” the official budget summary document states.
“CDT recently launched a pilot demonstration project with the California Department of Transportation, the California Integrated Travel Project, Monterey-Salinas Transit Agency, and US General Services Administration’s Login.gov, to provide an online tool for transit riders to verify their identity and eligibility to receive discounted fares using their bank card.”
Some 30 US states have launched, begun piloting or are conducting research into the issuance of a digital driving licence, according to the US-based Secure Technology Alliance (STA).
“There is a certain misconception that you’re essentially just taking a picture of your physical card and then sticking it on your phone. That’s not what this is,” STA executive director Jason Bohrer told State Tech magazine.
“This is a fully encrypted, digital credential that is validated through NFC.”
Apple announced in September 2021 that it is to roll out digital driving licences and IDs in eight US states and in November 2022 Colorado became the third state to add support for Apple digital IDs after Arizona and Maryland.
Maryland also began testing digital ID cards and driving licences on Android NFC devices in December.