New digital driver license technology closer to reality

Published: Nov. 3, 2017 at 7:13 PM CDT
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Wyoming is testing out a new technology that many say is not only convenient, but also helps protect individual's privacy and security.

Gemalto, an international digital company that works to provide secure software, is currently working with five states (Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, Maryland, and Washington D.C.) in bringing digital driver's licenses closer to reality. Gemalto Field Marketing Director Tiffany Conway says she believes the Cowboy State may become the first state to incorporate the new technology. Conway said, "Wyoming is doing some really new-use cases." She added, "So you guys are really on a fast track to having a digital driver's license become reality in the future."

Cheyenne Regional Airport Director of Aviation Tim Barth says he is looking forward to implementing the new technology once it is ready and available. Not only is it a quicker method for staff, but Barth said, "We found out that it's going to be very convenient, it's going to make traveling a lot easier, and it's almost like a one-stop shopping application."

With the option of a digital driver's license, people traveling would not have to bring any paper documents with them anymore. Conway said, "A lot of people are using mobile boarding passes these days, so being able to verify your identity and mobile boarding pass without ever having to take your wallet out of your pocket is a strong benefit."

The digital company has tested out three scenarios that individuals can choose from when providing identification: a routine traffic stop, going through a TSA checkpoint and proof of age scenarios. The app lets them choose how much information someone wants to reveal while providing the details required in a certain situation.

Some individuals ran into a few problems trying to get the app to work on their device, but the Wyoming Department of Transportation said, for the most part, things ran smoothly. Senior Supervisor at Driver Services Renee Krawiec said, "Some people say, 'When can this start, where can I get this, where could I get this'... So this is definitely peaking the interest of our citizens and they're thinking of ideas that this would work for them in their day-to-day life."

Krawiec also mentioned, "The vendor had gotten a grant from the National Transportation Association to fund, to see if this technology would work, so we're using it in some real-world scenarios to see if this technology would work and so far that's been successful."

When asked how much the app would cost users, Krawiec says it will mostly come at a small cost for those wanting the option, but the details of the technology are still up in the air.

Conway added that it will be a long journey, especially since the process is in its early stages, but added, "Wyoming is such a forward-thinking state and we're really excited to be partnering with this state on this."