With its new LA Wallet, Louisiana becomes the first state to actually rollout digital driver’s licenses to its citizenry. While other states have piloted the mobile licenses, this is the first instance where any citizen can use the mobile app during any traffic stop of police interaction.
State police requested a “hands-off procedure” that allows officers to validate a suspect’s credentials without touching the individual’s phone
The LA Wallet app is available on iOS and Android platforms for a $5.99 fee that covers use of the app until the physical license’s expiration date. At that point, a new fee will be assessed to continue using the mobile version.
According to a post at the official state website, the digital license is more than just a digital photo of the physical ID. “All information, license design patterns, owner’s photo, and other security elements are gathered separately and layered together to generate a pixel-perfect, fully rendered, dynamic image of the driver’s license,” according to LAWallet.com. A benefit of the digital license is that this information can be updated in real time without the need to reprint a new plastic card.
To prove authenticity during a police interaction with the mobile license, a user presses and holds the device screen and a Louisiana State Seal overlay appears atop the license. This is intended, “to prove that the data displayed on the screen is authentic and not simply a screenshot or recording,” explains the LA Wallet site.
The app was developed by a Louisiana-based company called Envoc. The company has deployed strong security protocols, and “all communication to and from the app is encrypted over https connections … (using) TLS data encryption when data is transmitted over the Internet,” says LAWallet.com.
According to an article at StateScoop.com, “state police requested a “hands-off procedure” that allows officers to validate a suspect’s credentials without touching the individual’s phone, owing to Fourth Amendment considerations.”
The Louisiana legislature is reportedly reviewing other uses, including airport security, alcohol and tobacco purchases as well as use in other states.