Arizona takes inside lane on adoption of digital licenses

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ADOT and IBM reach historic industry milestone.


Last month the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and IBM completed their first joint pilot to evaluate the applicability of digital identification documents for DMV agencies. ADOT is considering several pilots to help them explore the concepts of a Mobile Driver’s License (mDL).

This initial endeavor represented a significant industry milestone as it was the first time that a live pilot was successfully held by a government agency whereby enforcement personal were able to request and verify the identity of individuals with offline (disconnected) mobile devices in a secure manner. This event has now set the benchmark for what is to come for mDL solutions.

The pilot focused on a limited community of Officers within the ADOT Enforcement and Compliance Division (ECD) and employees of the ADOT. The technology at the center of this effort was IBM Mobile Identity, a cross industry cloud solution.

IBM helped ADOT to create and distribute digital identification documents that represented employee badges. These digital employee badges were installed on 64 iOS devices and 36 Android devices. Eighteen (18) ECD Officers were able to randomly challenge the identity of ADOT employees during a two day business event. Each identity challenge allowed an ECD Officer to establish offline peer-to-peer mobile communications with an employee device so that the two devices could securely exchange identity credentials.

Aside from completing this first industry milestone in the maturation of mDL solutions, ADOT was also able to address several key technology evaluation objectives:

* provide employees with first hand experience around the emerging market of mobile driver licenses;
* gain exposure to the design and workflow tasks associated with an Issuer in a Mobile Identity Ecosystem;
* understand some of the backend system of record integration challenges;
* gather employee feedback on mDL technology.

As DMV agencies begin to tackle the challenges of deploying mDL solutions, they will need technology that can address the requirements outlined by the AAMVA Mobile Driver’s License Functional Needs Whitepaper. IBM and ADOT have now proven that the mDL solution requirement of Offline Operation, as described in section 2.2 of the AAMVA whitepaper, is achievable.


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Dan Gisolfi
As CTO for Trusted Identity, Dan is focused on the development and execution of a trusted identity strategy for both citizen and corporate identity interactions using blockchain technologies. This endeavor includes the development of a formal IBM Mobile Identity offering, the definition and development of a trusted identity reference architecture, and the creation of devops tools that streamline the delivery of trusted identity solutions for clients.
Dan Gisolfi
Dan Gisolfi

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