California has significantly expanded a pilot program that allows citizens to obtain a digital driver’s license/ID card that can be accessed from their mobile phones (through 9to5Mac). The digital ID, which the California DMV calls an “mDL” (mobile driver’s license), can be used for things like going through airport security or proving your age when buying alcohol.
If you choose to sign up for state digital IDs, there are a few caveats to keep in mind. The DMV stresses that you’ll still need to bring your physical ID or driver’s license since “police, state government agencies, and businesses don’t yet accept the mDL.” Only some airports and a handful of retail locations support them. He DMV promises that the app “does not permanently store your personal data,” but does retain your phone number and an “encrypted photo of your driver’s license/ID card.”
And California doesn’t allow citizens to add a digital ID to native iOS or Android wallets; instead, you must use the dedicated California app. “At this time, mDL is not available for Apple or Google wallets,” the DMV says. “However, there will be additional platforms available in the future.”