Participants report overwhelming support for mobile licenses, state gleans many lessons
A report on the 2016 pilot of mobile drivers licenses by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles outlines the three-month trial and highlights lessons learned. From July to September 2016 a group of 252 participants used a mobile license to prove age for tobacco and alcohol purchases at 15 retailers in the Richmond area.
The technology for the pilot was provided by Canadian Bank Note Secure Technologies, provider of physical Virginia drivers license. Participants enrolled in the pilot and were then able to call up a unique QR code that could be scanned by participating retailers using a dedicated laptop provided by DMV. The laptop application would read the QR code and communicate with the DMV server to check verify the participant’s photo and check whether the individual was over the age of 18 and/or over the age of 21.
Other personal details included on a physical license, such as actual birthdate and address, were never shared with the retailer adding privacy to the transaction.
According to the DMV report, the pilot “demonstrated that providing mobile driver’s licenses and other electronic credentials is technically feasible. The DMV was able to provide driver information in a format, which allowed it to be quickly shared with retailers. The proof of concept also showed that DMV could provide a credential with less than all of the fields normally printed on a driver’s license, allowing only truly necessary information to be displayed during a transaction.”
Challenges identified in the pilot included issues with cellular network connectivity at some retailer locations and at some times. Surveys also found that widespread acceptance will be key to program success as many reported lack of retailer acceptance as a detriment to usage.
Moving forward, the project team recommends that DMV proceed using this type of online model where the credential is verified prior to each transaction. “Although it may be challenging to implement in areas with limited cellular service, it is the best way to ensure that security is maintained and customers’ personal information is adequately protected,” says the report.
They also stress that the use of a third party verification service, as was the case with the Canadian Bank Note service in the pilot, is important to allow for solutions to be developed which will meet the needs of retailers, law enforcement, state agencies, and others who have a need to verify identity within their normal business practices.
Stats from pilot project usage show that 55% of those who enrolled in the pilot actually used the mobile license at least once during the period. Surveys showed that 80% found the technology easy to use and 85% said they would be interested in having a permanent mobile license. Eight out of ten respondents indicated they would even be willing to pay for the privilege.
Check out the full report online.