Digital driver's licenses coming to Utah soon, adding convenience and more privacy

A testing phase is set to begin with 100 Utahns and will expand to 10,000 people over time
Posted at 10:57 AM, Mar 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 01:30:42-04

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Utah's Driver License Division is set to start a pilot with Mobile Driver's Licenses and IDs.

The mobile IDs will be stored on an app, which is being called secure by the division's director, Chris Caras.

"We wanted to make sure the technology was at a place that it really could facilitate that level of security and we believe that it’s at that stage now," said Caras.

This will change the way Utahns travel, bank, buy alcohol, and comply with traffic stops.

A big difference between physical licenses or ID cards and digital ones is you can choose what information you share.

For example, the digital ID would let you verify your age without giving away your home address, or vice versa.

Caras said, "The mobile credential lets you facilitate the transaction but only share what’s necessary so that you get some control back over your data."

The digital IDs are being tested with 100 people to start, but the DLD hopes to open up the pilot to as many as 10,000 Utahns by mid to late-summer of 2021.

The DLD is hoping to get as much feedback as possible from those taking part in the tests so it can work out any issues before it launches statewide.

The Driver License Division has until January 1st, 2022 to be ready to start making the digital licenses and IDs unless they show that the pilot has been unsuccessful.

"I don’t see it in the near future changing the actual cost of renewing your driver’s license, but if you choose to go with the application there is a small additional fee for that," said Caras.

The results will be shared with the Utah State Legislature, which will determine whether or not to roll out the mobile IDs statewide.

Utah State Senator Lincoln Fillmore led the efforts to get the mobile driver license piloted in the state through Senate Bill 100.

After it passed during the most recent legislative session, the DLD said it started the necessary actions to start testing it in Utah.

When asked about how Utahns can sign up to be a part of the larger testing phase, Caras said the DLD does not have a way for people to sign up right now, but they will be doing a lot of public outreach when they get closer to that stage.