Multi-Document Verification in a Digital World

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Nearly everyone has some form of Government Issued Identity Instrument (G3I). Even though a driver’s license conveys the privilege to operate certain types of vehicles, it is also the most commonly used form of G3I. The Table below lists several use cases and indicates whether an actual driver’s license (DL) or a G3I document is required and how many documents are needed.

Table of Use Cases with Type of ID and # of Documents Required
Use Case DL Required G3I Required Documents Required
Nightclub Bouncer No Yes 1
Bank Account Creation No Yes 1
School Campus Defender No Yes 1
Airport Control No Yes 1
Vending Machine Age Verification Yes No 1
Traffic Stop Yes No 2
Traffic Accident Yes No 3
Retail Merchant No Yes 1
Car Rental Yes No 2
Hospitality Check-in No Yes 1
Online Authentication No No 1 or more
Prescription Drug Procurement No Yes 1 or more
Notary No Yes 1
Automobile Dealership Yes No 2
Post Office Box Key Pickup No Yes 2
Medical Office Visit No No 1

Note that whenever a driver’s license is the required form of identification, it is often presented with additional documents. The handling and processing of multi-documents for verification activities is easier, faster, and safer in the digital identity era.

A Traffic Accident Exchange

Consider the example of a traffic accident. The law enforcement officer asks for at least two and perhaps three documents: a driver’s license, vehicle registration, and depending upon your state, a proof of auto insurance. Most of us must dig through the glove box to extract the physical registration and auto insurance cards – assuming we remembered to put the up to date versions into the vehicle. The officer must juggle the various documents and record the necessary information from each one. In the digital identity era you provide the information from all documents in one easy and secure electronic exchange.

verifier app showing documents received

The officer’s device showing the received information requested from the vehicle registration and license.

With IBM Mobile Identity (MI), all three documents are securely stored on your smartphone. The latest versions of these documents are always available so you won’t scramble to find them. You can select the exact documents and identity traits to share with the law enforcement officer. The exchange of information between the phones is quick and secure.

In a  hostile situation, the officer can remain at a safe distance while the information is exchanged. The officer’s official picture is displayed on the your device at the beginning of the information exchange.   This assures you that his authority to request information was issued by the State. Everyone’s safety is improved by verifying identities, speeding up the exchange process, and getting people and vehicles out of further harm’s way.

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Becky Gibson
Becky is a Senior Technical Staff Member in the Emerging Technologies Group at IBM. Her career has spanned many products and programming languages and she has contributed to both commercial and open source projects. Becky is widely recognized for her efforts in the area of Web Accessibility - making the Web usable by people of all abilities. She has now turned her attention and efforts to the area of digital identity and mobile identity solutions.
Becky Gibson
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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