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Another US state tentatively steps up to digital ID

Another US state tentatively steps up to digital ID

In much the same way that generative AI has become a cultural phenomenon in the United States, it appears digital ID might be entering the national dialog.

The state of Georgia this week announced that 150,000 residents have registered for the state’s new digital identification or driver’s licenses. That is an interesting achievement for a state without the tech-dominated economy of California, which still lacks a digital ID.

There are caveats. The digital documents are only accepted by officials at certain Transportation Security Administration checkpoints. And the digital IDs do not yet replace physical cards.

That is not unusual. Of the 50 states, there are almost 50 approaches to and timetables for digital ID programs. Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri and Mississippi are among the estimated 14 states and territories with some form of legal digital ID.

As noted, California lawmakers have yet to put digital IDs of any kind on residents’ phones.

The state’s governor is six month into his pledge to digitize driver’s licenses. Gavin Newsom is a particularly popular governor, so he might be able to make it happen through force of will, but there is little evidence for optimism yet.

A pilot project for an interoperable ID is underway. Officials would like to get 170,000 into the tests yet getting any more than that would require passing a new law allowing it.

Public sector IT publisher GCN reports that the pilot should be live before fall. It will be accepted at some of the state’s many airports and some convenience stores, where patrons would be able to prove their ages to buy adult products.

The state is not naming the convenience store chain that will be the ID scanners.

A vendor has not been named, but ID verifier iProov is putting its president, Ajay Amlani, in front of as many TV cameras as possible. California would be a prize. With a 2021 gross domestic product of $3 trillion, winning it would be like signing a contract with all of Pakistan.

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