Digital Driver's License in the United States [What You Should Know]

A driver's license or license is a document that usually has multiple uses, from giving its holder the right to legally drive certain vehicles to serving as an identity document. Also, with the increasing use of technology we experience today, the way we can use it is changing dramatically (for the better). Stay with us, today we want to talk to you digital driving license in the United States, how it works and all the benefits it will bring.

📰 Contents
  1. Digital driver's license in the United States
  2. How does the DDL digital license work?
  3. How was the beginning of the implementation of the bill?
  4. How long will it take to implement a digital driver's license in the United States?
  5. Advantages of the digital driver's license in the United States

Digital driver's license in the United States

At the moment, if you are stopped by an agent on the street, you may be asked to show your driver's license. Likewise, you may need to show it to the bank to make a transaction. Also, when you board a plane you will be asked to identify yourself and will likely need to remove your license from your wallet to do so. However, this is changing and instead of pulling out your wallet, more and more often you will reach for your smartphone.

Right now about a dozen states are testing mobile or digital driver's licenses that work with smartphones.according to the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA).

Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Secure Technology Alliance (STA), said a digital version of a license would give users more control over the amount of information they share with a third party. The Alliance is an industry group specializing in secure payment, identity verification and login solutions.

Which states allow you to renew your driver's license online?

How does the DDL digital license work?

The digital driver's license (DDL Digital Driver's Patent) works through a telephone application protected by biometric data or PIN. So instead of handing a physical license to a police officer or shop assistant, you will simply view the information you need or send it electronically.

Note that the DDL is currently supplemental, so it does not replace your physical license. Furthermore, this type of license is optional, which means that if you want to continue using the physical card you can do so.

NOTE: Remember that in the US, driving licenses are issued by every state, so there may be important differences regarding their use and the procedure for obtaining them.

How was the beginning of the implementation of the bill?

In 2016, Idaho, Colorado, Maryland, Wyoming, and Washington DC used a NIST grant to test mobile driver's licenses. Colorado was the first state to test a digital license. After running the standard process in the DMV the volunteers installed DigiDL (an application to access the digital license) on their phones and then downloaded their license. These volunteers tested the digital driver's license in shops, at the state lottery complaint center, and at an art fair.

Oklahoma, Arkansas, Iowa and Florida are also testing this new driver's license format. New Jersey and Texas have passed laws to initiate the process. In Louisiana, residents can use the "LA Wallet" app to store their digital license for use at traffic stops and to purchase alcohol, but are not allowed to board a plane. Louisiana residents still need the physical ID even if they choose to use the digital version.

How to check the status of my driving license in the USA?

How long will it take to implement a digital driver's license in the United States?

The AAMVA (American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators) is developing standards to enable interoperability in the United States and Canada, as well as other technical requirements, the first version of which may be released in a few months. There is a precedent for the work of the AAMVA as this organization was also behind the design standards for physical driving licenses.

However, it will take longer for digital licenses to spread. Ian Grossman, vice president of AAMVA, estimates it will take three to five years. Partly due to state budget problems, as they believe there are other higher priority investments, however some states will move forward.

Louisiana has already given the green light to its digital driver's license ",Portfolio LA »developed by a company called Envoc. Motorists can use it at traffic stops or police checkpoints, and the state recently approved it to verify the age of a person who wants to buy alcohol or tobacco. However, it is not yet accepted at airport security or in other states.

Louisiana residents can search for the app on Google Play or the Apple App Store; a $ 5.99 fee activates it for legal use.

Remember that when your state issues a digital license, it's a good idea to bring your physical license as a backup, at least for a while.

"What if the phone breaks"? I would compare this situation to the fact that you leave your wallet with the physical card at home ", says Grossman. "If this is the credential you trust, you must be responsible for carrying it around, just as you are responsible for remembering that your wallet is in your pocket when you drive."

Check with your DMV to see if your state offers these types of mobile driving licenses and if you are eligible to receive one. Grossman says some of the states that are running pilot projects are limiting obtaining these types of documents to agency or government employees for now.

Car insurance without a license

Advantages of the digital driver's license in the United States

Ian Grossman, Vice President of AAMVA, cites two of the biggest potential benefits of a digital permit. "It drastically reduces the chances of the driver's license being a fake document." Furthermore, it will be difficult to hear expressions such as: "I have lost my license" again and it will not be necessary to request a duplicate license.

A digital license allows you to quickly update both a new address and any other personal data. If your phone is lost or stolen, the license can be canceled remotely before a new digital version is issued.

Another big benefit is that consumers can choose to limit the information they view.

"Currently, when you show your (physical) driver's license, you are essentially showing your full name, address, date of birth, and a lot of personally identifiable information that is not needed to make that transaction," says Matt Thompson, Senior Vice President of Solutions. of identity at IDEMIA. "A mobile driver's license reveals only the information necessary for the transaction you are attempting". For example, a waiter may only see your photo stating that you are "over 21" or "under 18"

Also, if you get stopped by law enforcement on the street, you won't need to hand over your phoneas the agent can access your credentials wirelessly, via Bluetooth Low Energy technology or perhaps NFC, without the need for a cellular or Wi-Fi connection.


  • As motorists drive from one state to another, any digital license issued will need to be recognized in all states.
  • A privacy provision is intended to prevent the DMV (which issues the digital license) from tracking your location when you are behind the wheel or anywhere else.

If you want to discover other articles similar to Digital Driver's License in the United States [What You Should Know], you can visit the Last News category.

Nathan Hamilton

Nathan Hamilton

Nathan is a car enthusiast and industry professional with decades of combined experience in the automotive sector. Along with his team of writers and researchers, all passionate about automobiles, he is committed to delivering reliable and relevant content that ranges from detailed insurance guides to maintenance tips and much more.

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