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Lack of standards prompts US to push back mDL deadline

Lack of standards prompts US to push back mDL deadline

U.S. officials say they want to temporarily make it legal for people to use a mobile driver’s license even if it doesn’t comply with REAL ID rules after 2025 when physical state IDs are mandated to comply.

REAL ID is a federal standard for what every state must put on licenses in order to make forgeries and fraud more readily apparent. Deadlines to impose the standards have been repeatedly postponed, often because of local-vs.-federal control arguments.

The leeway has been given because comprehensive mDL standards do not yet exist, according to the Transportation Security Administration, which is administering the update.

The deadline for states, the governments that issue driver’s licenses, to comply with issuing REAL IDs is the same for digital and physical documents right now.

But the TSA has posted a notice saying it wants to temporarily exempt mDLs from states that have legalized them or which have been granted a TSA waiver for updated cards.

MDL bearers would still need a REAL ID-compliant ID card. Both would have to be shown to federal agencies including the TSA at airports.

Only seven states so far have distributed mobile driver’s licenses: California, Utah, Iowa, Maryland, Georgia, Colorado and Arizona. TSA notes the app and wallet providers for approved mDLs are GET Group (Utah), Idemia (Iowa) and Spruce (California), along with Google and Apple.

Details, including how to comment of the proposal, are here. The deadline for sharing thoughts is October 16.

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