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US state representative hints at another run at digital IDs

US state representative hints at another run at digital IDs

A party caucus chair in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania has signaled to the state’s lower house members that he wants legislation legalizing a watered-down digital ID.

Rep. Dan Miller, a Democrat, sent a memo to House members saying he will re-introduce a bill “in the near future” that would enable residents to carry their driver’s license or state ID as a document in a state app.

It is not clear when a previous attempt was made to pass a mobile driver’s license law, but last fall, officials with PennDOT, the state’s department of transportation were discussing how a program might work.

Miller’s memo is vague on details he would like in a bill, but the representative says he would base it on the state of Louisiana’s mobile driver’s license law. There, state legislators stopped short of saying a digital ID can replace a physical document.

Drivers can no longer be cited for not having a physical license at traffic stops as long as a digital version is available. However, a card would be required in enough other circumstances that it would be impractical to rely solely on a digital license.

Pennsylvania employs facial recognition algorithms to secure IDs today. The state police use the biometrics in licenses and IDs for criminal investigations, according to the transportation department.

mDL adoption is in various stages in different states, with Iowa recently delaying its launch to catch up with best practices and standards, and Arizona awarding a contract to begin development.

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