Oklahoma mobile ID launched Nov. 1
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Photo by Lisa Carroll Staff Writer The Chronicle

OKLAHOMA CITY - Promising to provide a secure and convenient way to access your identity, the Oklahoma Mobile ID (OKmID) application officially launched Nov. 1, and is now available for public use.

With the use of a smartphone, residents can download the OKmID app and within minutes have access to a digital version of their state driver’s license or identification card. Tasked to make all the government agencies in Oklahoma more mobile as a way to connect and digitally share information, Secretary of Digital Transformation and Administration, David Ostrowe, said he wanted an interface that everyone can use. According to Ostrowe, Mobile ID, "Is as secure as secure can get."

He said, "It's using your biometrics, your face, to unlock your ID. We're trying to be a Top 10 state in every category. We wanted to have an ID platform and we wanted to be pioneers. This is the future. The future is here." According to the state's digital transformation program, Innovate Oklahoma, "It is the first and only digital driver's license that is verified against the state's DPS system of record." After downloading the app on your iPhone or Android, the valid license holder will be instructed to follow a couple of steps to complete the registration process. Using the installed software, the user will be asked to take a photograph of the front and back of their physical identification card.

They will then be instructed to take a "selfie." The registration is said to be complete once the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety is authorized to verify the data. This includes verification that the features of the person in the selfie, match the official picture that ODPS has on record. Developed by IDEMIA, the OKmID software reportedly has "built-in detection technology" which can prevent the app from being unlocked without the use of a real-time selfie.


Innovate Oklahoma's website states, "When taking a selfie to unlock the app, the user is prompted to hold their phone still and move their head to connect randomly-generated dots on the screen. These movements verify that it is the license holder and not a photograph." The App Store states that the program can also be unlocked with the use of a self-selected pin or TouchID/ FaceID. And if a smartphone is stolen or lost? The website indicates that it's an easy fix that doesn't require a visit to an ODPS office. According to the website, a license can be canceled remotely then installed on a new phone.

Another key feature of OKmID is the privacy control option. Users can adjust the app settings to hide specific personal information, such as their address, that would otherwise be easily visible on a physical ID card during transactions. Although Mobile ID is being considered a legal form of identification for some purposes across the state, including the purchase of alcohol, until Oklahoma law changes, officials say it is not valid when it comes to operating a vehicle or catching a flight. Director of Media Operations for DPS, Sarah Stewart, says it's these legal limitations regarding Mobile ID that people need to be aware of and informed. "We do want people to know that, per state statute, you still have to have that plastic, or physical, driver’s license on you if a law enforcement officer asks for it," Stewart said. 


In addition, Mobile ID is not REAL ID compliant. That means the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will not accept it as a form of identification when attempting to board a flight. "Both of those things are important to know as far as Mobile ID goes right now," she said. "We don't want people confused. It could cost them getting a ticket or not be able to get on a plane." 


For now, Mobile ID is simply considered a "companion" to a physical driver’s license or identification card. Secretary Ostrowe said it's only a matter of introducing a bill in the next legislative session that could alter that in the future. By converting the wording in the current state statutes, he hopes Mobile ID will one day be accepted as a legal form of identification in every circumstance. When Oklahoma converts to REAL ID, Ostrowe says Mobile ID will convert right alongside to be compliant. Initially, OKmID was Beta tested by 4,000 users begin- ning late May 2019 through mid-October. Ostrowe said software developers took all the feedback from users during the test period and "tweaked" the app before officially launching it to the public. The app is now equipped with a help desk in case anyone encounters a snag.

"We've had overwhelmingly positive feedback. It really helped with the grassroots effort to market it," he said. "This is the first version marketed. We'll have others in the future. "Eventually we'll have version two. This, if done right, can enhance safety encounters between citizens and law enforcement," he said. The Oklahoma Mobile ID app can be downloaded at no charge for iPhones at the App Store or on Google Play for Androids. A subscription charge will apply after Nov. 2020. To find out more information, visit innovate.ok.gov.