Prepare for the mDL (Mobile Driver’s License) Revolution

March 22, 2022 by Dave Holmes | BLOG

mDL Solutions

As our world moves faster and faster to a digital environment, important individual documents are finding their way into mobile applications. Previously, these documents were limited to things like digitizing proof of auto insurance cards. Increasingly, though, the world is moving toward an mDL revolution. If your business isn';t on the forefront of the mDL highway, your competitors will be zooming on past.

What is an mDL?

Quite simply, an mDL is literally putting a digital version of your government-issued identification or driver's license into your mobile phone. These digital credentials are designed to replace the physical cards that have been used for decades.

The credentials can be read in one of three ways: manually, through near field communication (NFC), or through the scanning of a barcode or QR code on the device.

I Own a Business. What Does This Mean to Me?

As more information becomes tied to individual identification, the use of integrated databases to verify that information becomes more critical. While some simple transactions can be verified by a manual visual examination of the credential, more advanced transactions require rapid verification, and that means requiring a digital solution within a point of sale (POS) application or any retail environment in general. Electronic age verification is not only digital, it is an auditable trail to show that age was actually verified during the purchase.

As an mDL holder comes to your physical location to make a purchase for a restricted product such as alcohol, cannabis, or tobacco, a visual examination may be sufficient. But what if you're selling a product that requires deeper examination, such as firearms? A visual scan won't indicate if the person attempting to purchase the product has passed a background check or holds outstanding warrants. Digital platforms are now being used to store and share information to ensure the right individual identity is meeting specific criteria for these kinds of goods and services.

Other elements are also being tied to these mDLs, such as flight information at airports or event tickets – information that isn't directly printed on the ID itself. As this wealth of information becomes increasingly interconnected with your identification, it's important that merchants have some method of being able to quickly input that identification into their systems and verify the appropriate information

I'm a Developer or Product Manager. How Does This Apply to Me?

When considering how an mDL works, it's important to remember that there are three parties involved with each transaction:

  • Issuing authority
  • mDL holder
  • Relying party

The relying party is the element of the transaction that is responsible for reading the credential and passing that information on to the verifying application.

The process for scanning an mDL by an mDL reader has been standardized under ISO 18013-5, which deals with personal identification. What this means for you is that the methodology used in capturing the data itself is the same regardless of the actual device used. Further, then, the same ISO standard is used in communicating between the mDL reader and the issuing authority, allowing the same device to serve as the verification point for the mDL.

How Can Socket Mobile Help Your Business?

Socket Mobile offers a range of readers that already read the ISO 18013-5 credentials directly out of the box. With our CaptureSDK integrated into your application, any Socket reader can deliver the mDL data to your app for processing.

By using the latest version of CaptureSDK, you don't have to worry about how the data is captured or if the methodology changes. You do not have to make wholesale changes to the application each time your needs change. This ensures your scanners will continue to work the same way, every time, giving you the information you need, without worrying about updating devices or downloading updates to the application.

How Do I Get Started?

It's never been easier to add CaptureSDK to your applications and begin capturing mDL data in your merchant POS systems. Check out our step-by-step integration guide to learn how to get started and implement Socket Mobile's entire suite of scanning solutions into your app. For more information regarding mDLs and Socket integration, please visit our Mobile Driver's License Solution page.

Try it free.

Test out our data reading and scanning technology for free with SocketCam. The SocketCam C820 lets you scan directly into your feature application using the camera on your mobile device, ensuring high-performance scanning without the need for an external barcode scanner.