OKLAHOMA CITY — It has become a part of the lexicon, but “there’s an app for that” when it comes to the Oklahoma drivers license.
Secretary of Digital Transformation and Administration David Ostrowe said there are plans for a digital version of the identification card — which dates back to 1937 — to make its debut on Oct. 1.
“We are in the middle of our beta test and have invited to date a little under 2,000 (to participate),” he said. “Of the 2,000 invites, our target is to have 1,000 people that physically download them and use them in everyday life.”
He said there could be another invitation cycle coming out soon.
When the plan is implemented, there still would be a need for a license in its current state and a photograph to enroll on an Oklahoma branded app.
The Secretary of Digital Transformation and Administration serves on the cabinet of Gov. Kevin Stitt and Ostrowe is charged with placing a strategic emphasis on digital transformation in the delivery of services across all agencies statewide.
Ostrowe, a longtime entrepreneur, serves in an unpaid position.
“A couple things we are doing in the beta test just to make sure, the Department of Public Safety has got to be able to control these things,” he said. “They have to be able to suspend them, expire them, recall them. They are working on that process right now. Once that is perfected, (Department of Public Safety commissioner) Rusty Rhodes is confident they have control of them, then we’re going to roll out system wide.”
Ostrowe said Louisiana is the only state utilizing a digital format, LA Wallet.
According to the LA Wallet website, it’s 100% legal for driving purposes per Louisiana law of Act 625 of the 2016 season.
LA Wallet is made for Apple iOS and Android. It went live in the App Store June 26, 1918 and July 2, 2018 in the Google Play Store.
However, it currently only works with Apple products because of its facial recognition capability.
An in-app purchase of $5.99 activates is for legal usage.
Iowa and Maryland also have been doing beta testing, Ostrowe said.
“The other aspect of this thing is assuring ID security,” he said. “When the phone uses facial recognition and it identifies who you are, it then will provide a code to enter into commercial websites to prove your identity.”
Ostrowe said Rhodes and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol have played large roles not only on the mobile drivers license, but the long delayed Real ID compliance issue.
“Right now, we have legislation that says you have to have a piece of plastic in your wallet. But next session, if we have a couple hundred thousand people running around with one that is digital, it's a pretty easy change to say ‘hey, its an and/or,’” Ostrowe said. “Plus, during this beta test process, Commissioner Rhodes is going to put out a letter to all law enforcement to say ‘hey, please accommodate.’ We are doing the same thing with ABLE (Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement).”
Ostrowe said plans are to roll out Real ID is April 2020.
It has been on the books since 2005 in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S., but Oklahoma has continually asked for extensions.
Eventually, once its fully operational, the system will be able to include boarding passes and hunting and fishing licenses.