Iowa DOT working to expand mobile ID use by next year

State News

AMES, Iowa — Tech giant, Apple, recently announced its plans on rolling out mobile identification for users to store in their Apple wallet. The company expects Iowans will be able to use mobile IDs at airports by the end of the year. Iowa is one of eight states currently being offered this feature. 

The Iowa Department of Transportation has been working on a mobile ID app for years with the American Association of Motor Vehicles and the Internal Organization for Standardization. 

“We’re testing to make sure that users know how to use the application. There’s no confusion as they’re going through the different screens. We’re making sure things function properly. We’re making sure that we do have those privacy and security standards in place so that we are protecting their data,” Director of Strategic Communications for the Iowa Department of Transportation, Andrea Henry said. 

The DOT’s mobile ID app will be available on Apple and Android products. To add a mobile ID, users will need verification of a physical ID and face recognition confirmed by the Department of Transportation. 

DOT is working to make mobile IDs acceptable among local law enforcement, bankers, retailers, and other organizations that require identification by next year. 

A computer engineering professor at Iowa State University, Doug Jacobsen, said mobile identification could be safer than carrying physical copies. 

“If your phone were to get lost and stolen you actually can get that phone remotely disable that phone. And then it’s worthless,” Jacobsen said. “Whereas if you lost your purse or wallet then you’re out, trying to go to the DMV and cancel your credit cards, everything you have to do when that horrible thing happens.”

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