WASHINGTON — Under a recently launched program in Maryland, transportation officials are testing out new technology that could allow you to quickly access your driver’s license on your smartphone.
The digital driver’s license pilot program aims to make obtaining an up-to-date license as easy as downloading an app, officials said.
“We are proud to be on the leading edge of testing technology that will deliver the driver’s license of the future,” said Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn. “This innovative technology will increase customer convenience and enhance safeguards to our already secure driver’s licenses.”
Maryland’s two-year program is federally funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
The state’s transportation department began working this week, actively testing the technology at several locations.
Hundreds of volunteers with the department are being instructed to utilize the licenses, determine how effective they are and identify any improvements that could or should be made.
“We’re using it to interact with law enforcement and other institutions to see how it works,” said the state’s motor vehicle administrator Chrissy Nizer. “The physical license is good the day it’s issued. But the digital driver’s license has the ability to be up-to-date at the time that it’s displayed.”
Those working on the project say the digital licenses are more secure and convenient and give users more control over their personal information, allowing them to display only certain things rather than showing all the details that are printed on physical licenses.
“Everybody has their phone with them at all times,” Nizer said. “It’s a great way to be able to display your identity document with that level of convenience.”
As part of the program, the transportation department is working alongside Gemalto, a Maryland company that works on digital security. Gemalto is also the company that manufactures Maryland’s current driver’s licenses and ID cards.