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Mississippi plans digital ID, Utah’s GET Group mDLs accepted for booze

Mississippi plans digital ID, Utah’s GET Group mDLs accepted for booze

Mobile digital IDs continue to advance at the U.S. state level, with Mississippi the latest to unveil its intentions for mobile wallets. A pilot program has rolled out in the U.S. state of Utah, meanwhile, in which some select liquor sales points will accept mobile driver’s licenses (mDLs) as valid proof of identity to verify the age of those purchasing alcohol.

According to a joint press release from GET Group North America and the Utah Driver License Division (DLD), the Utah Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control (DABC) will accept the mDLs for alcohol purchase at its Saratoga Springs and Farmington locations, and about 10 others by the end of the year. The plan will then be extended to all DABC alcohol locations and subsequently state-wide, the release indicates.

The goal, authorities say, is to reduce the rate at which alcohol is sold to teenagers, as driving while intoxicated is said to be the leading cause of death among teens in the country.

Get Mobile Administrator is overseeing the mDL service, which gives users full control of their data as they can choose to share only information that is necessary to get them through their transactions at the liquor stores.

DABC employees at participating stores will use GET Mobile Verify to contactlessly authenticate that a customer is over the age of 21 without having to touch the customer’s phone or ID card.

As part of the pilot, DLD authorities are calling on citizens to get set up with their own mDL at the Saratoga Springs store on Wednesday November 3 and the Farmington store on Thursday November 4. They will require a driver’s license to complete the mDL registration.

Alex Kambanis, managing director of GET Group North America, hailed the partnership and highlighted the importance of ensuring an alcohol buyer’s ID is properly checked for under-aged drinking and other forms of fraud.

“We are proud to be partnering with Utah DABC and DLD to provide a technology solution that will enable more secure and trustworthy transactions, while also protecting the citizen’s privacy when making their purchases and having the potential to improve the overall customer experience,” said Kambanis.

Tiffany Clason, Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (DABC) director, said it was a pleasure to help the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Driver License Division get the project off the ground. “Mobile IDs are safe, secure, prevent fraud, and are easy-to-use. State liquor store customers who choose to use mobile IDs will experience a safe and quicker transaction time when making their purchases.”

Utah extended its pilot program for the mDLs in June, with the state’s Community Credit Union becoming the latest entity to accept the mobile driver’s licenses as legal identification.

Mississippi to launch mDL

Mississippi is planning to launch its own mobile driver’s license as part of a broader mobile digital ID program that includes proof of COVID-19 vaccination, Fox WXXV reports.

The mobile ID app is expected to launch by the end of the month.

Public Safety Commissioner Sean Tindell told WXXV that he expects the pilot to launch on November 18. Mississippians will be able to use their mDLs “just like they would their regular ID,” he said, and the state plans to follow Louisiana’s lead towards a comprehensive digital ID wallet.

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