Digital Driving Licenses are accepted in Louisiana

Photograph of two women displaying their LA Wallet IDs with a third person identifying them as 21+.
Photo: Envoc

A young woman sits at a bar on Bourbon Street in New Orleans and orders a beer. The bartender asks for identity. The patron of the bar draws her phone, what happens on an app, and shows a digital version of her driving license showing that she is over 21 years of age. In response, the tenderer pulls out his own phone, what happens on the same app, he uses it to scan the women's digital license, and verifies that her information is legit.

This is a scene that is likely to become more common in Louisiana pubs in the coming months as residents take on the new LA Wallet digital driving license. Next week, the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control is expected to announce that bars, restaurants, grocery stores and other retailers will be allowed to accept LA Wallet as proof of age, according to app developer Envoc.

Louisiana's Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control did not respond immediately Spectrum request a confirmation of the proposed notice.

The company launched Baton Rouge LA Wallet in June, after two years of cooperation with state officials. But law enforcement officers have to date only had normal traffic stops they must accept the digital driverLicense. Next week the advertisement would greatly extend the scope of use of the app.

Around 71,000 people downloaded LA Wallet to date, says Calvin Fabre, founder and president of Envoc. The application costs $ 5.99 in Google Play and Apple App stores.

Users buy it, create an account with basic information from their physical driver license, and create a password. That's it. There are no biometric security-like iris scans or facial recognition.

The application connects to the Motor Vehicle Office database in Louisiana, which complements the digital license with user photo and additional information. Any changes to the license, such as suspension or renewal, are immediately updated in the app with a wireless network connection.

To present the license, tell a cop during a traffic stop – the driver (not expecting his phone battery) opens a password, shows the image of the digital license for the coat, and authenticates it through the screen for a security seal to disclose. The license can be turned on to display a scannable bar code at the back.

There is also a convenient security feature that allows anyone with LA Wallet app to authenticate Louisiana's digital driver's license. In the case of Bourbon Street bar, the pub and young woman would use the “VerifyYou” feature of the app.

It allows the bar patron to reveal the information she wants to the pub – in this case, she is over 21 years of age. This information is displayed on the phone with photo and QR embedded code. The pub scans the code with her app, which tells her that the woman sitting on the other side of the bar is indeed over 21. None of the customer's personal information, such as their name, date of birth, or address, is displayed or stored on the publicans phone.

Together, the VerifyYou feature and the security seal perform the digital driver license. This is because cryptography is time-based and can only be used once. What's more, each verified transaction takes place between the app and state databases about two seconds, Fabre says.

Could this eliminate underage drinking in New Orleans ways? It certainly makes fake IDs harder to come. “Fake [physical] IDs are rampant because everything you need to do is encode to make fake information in a plastic or tow bar, ”Fabre says.

However, the identity of a person can be stolen by the LA Wallet system. Consider all the businesses that copy or scan driving licenses to their customers. A personality may find a bundle of these items, select a license showing a person with similar physical features, open a LA Wallet account, input the information, and quickly hold the holder of another person's digital driver's license. The wool goes to the liquor shop.

“Of course, you wouldn't look the same and that's why the picture is very prominent in the VerifyYou feature, says Fabre. “There is a way to do it [people] go to the DMV and marry the [app] to the [physical] he says, but he chose not to pursue it in his adoption plan, he says.

Louisiana is one of many US states that are engaged in digital, or mobile, licenses for drivers. Approved Iowa, Delaware, Idaho, Colorado, Maryland, Washington D.C. and Wyoming pilot studies on technology. American Motor Vehicle Administrators Association is developing standards to guide them and their app development partners, but these specifications have not yet been completed.

Elsewhere in the world, Finland, Kosovo, Brazil, Australia, and the Netherlands announced all plans to pursue digital driving licenses.

Iowa could be close to the US, and a digital ID program to launch a statewide launch in late 2019. Its app is being developed by Idemia, an enhanced identity provider, which is also being tested in Delaware. The only way an Idemia app is different to LA Wallet is that it can communicate wirelessly with auto transported patrol software enforcement patrols.

This means that a driver's coat can be drawn down, and a Bluetooth connection, by imposing a driver's digital license and drawing up its information, all before leaving the patrol car. This means that the officer knows who pulled him over, and tells the driver that the official is legit.

The driver may choose to accept or reject the police officer's request for information on a digital driver's license.

That design, allow the police to connect to drivers digital licenses from their patrol cars, which came at the request of state police, Fabre says. Police do not want to contact the driver's phone, for various practical and legal reasons. So, if a driving license is being run through its system, the seven digit license number must be physically written, and then returned to its patrol car for punishment and the database search, says Fabre. .

So far, Fabre says, LA Wallet has started launching without major work – although it is frustrated with negative feedback in the app stores. “You get trolls that go on Apple and Google Play… and which puts negative ratings on it” without understanding the app, he says.

One reviewer, who gave one star to the LA Wallet, wrote: “Another way for our corrupt state to get more money from overcharging and over-fee [sic] citizens. "(The app fee goes to $ 5.99 to Envoc in fact, and the state gets the benefits – and the license – for digital drivers at no cost. The fare is good with the lifetime of the license, usually encountered in Louisiana six years).

Fabre says it was challenging to respond to vitriol online. “The product is the face of the state, so we must respond to the voice of the state,” he said. “We have done a lot of work with the state to capture their voice and make sure that we don't talk to each other or get too emotional when someone is ripping our products.” T

One of the challenges of sending a digital driver's license is to put all the key players on board. In Louisiana, which included cooperation with state police, the state's general advocate, Louisiana Public Safety Department, and the Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control.

And more collaboration needs to be created. Going forward, Envoc is working with election officers and banks. “How to open a bank account [with a digital driver’s license] can the bank copy and file a physical license? How you change those processes, which are mandated [by federal bank regulators], to support a digital driving license you can't copy now? ”Asks Fabre. “These are the challenges, and it is good that we have a good start.” T

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