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Colorado driver's licenses are going digital

Coloradans can create electronic versions of their driver's license or state identification card, which can be used as proof of identification, age or address.

It's almost 2020, so it only makes sense that driver's licenses are going digital. 

Gov. Jared Polis announced Wednesday the launch of the Colorado Digital ID in the myColorado mobile app, Colorado’s official mobile app, the governor's office said in a news release. 

Coloradans can create electronic versions of their driver's license or state identification card, which can be displayed on smartphones as proof of identification, age and address within Colorado, the release said. 

“As technology evolves, I’m excited to make sure that government keeps up with the times. We are rapidly moving to support the use of mobile digital identity solutions that allow any of us to verify our identity and conduct business without the need to carry a plastic identification card,” Gov. Polis said in the release. 

Polis signed an Executive Order stating that "the Colorado Digital ID shall be authorized, and may be accepted, as a legal form of personal identification for use in Colorado." 

Colorado businesses are encouraged to begin accepting the digital IDs, and state agencies are advised to accept it beginning Dec.1, the release said. 

However, the release said, Colorado law enforcement agencies may continue to require physical forms of identification by members of the public in all law enforcement and public safety situations, so Coloradans should continue to take their physical ID wherever they go.

Many people on Facebook had questions about the digital ID. We helped find answers to some below. 

Will TSA accept them at the airport?

"TSA does not currently accept any mobile driver’s licenses or 'electronic' driver’s licenses at the checkpoint," said Danielle Bennett with the Department of Homeland Security. "The agency is evaluating how it may accept these in the future."

How secure is my information on this app? What about identity theft?

"We have many security capabilities-built in," explained  Dr. Theresa M. Szczurek, the state of Colorado IT Executive Director. "The information on the app is protected through multi-factor identification. For example, you'd have an account and that account would have a password and we have other things to ensure it's the real thing."

How will police officers verify the authenticity of the document? Will they use it?

"They won't," Szczurek said. "That is why at this point in time there is an exception for state law enforcement. They do not have to use the Colorado digital ID. You would still have to carry your physical ID."

What's the point?

"It's an evolution," Szczurek said. "We're going where people are and putting in the palm of their hands the ability to prove their identities. People are demanding these kinds of services because they're going mobile so it's easy you don't have to worry about losing a physical driver's license and it's all in one place which will be securely saved."

Will we be able to use them in restaurants?

"We’re still poring through the details of this, but our understanding is that restaurants and bars won’t be required to accept this, at least for now — but they will be able to if they choose to do so," said Nick Hoover the government affairs director for the Colorado Restaurant Association. "We anticipate that most will still ask for physical IDs for now, because there will be a significant training lift. Servers and bartenders will have to get trained on identifying the new ID, its safety features, how to spot a fake, and more. These staff are not required under Colorado law to take alcohol seller/server training, but many restaurants and bars send their staff to these trainings to ensure appropriate service. These trainings don't yet cover the digital ID. Because these training certifications are valid for 3-5 years, it may be awhile before all staff in Colorado are retrained.”

Will cannabis shops accept them?

"We are ready to do so," said Kristi Kelly with the Marijuana Industry Group. "The state's ID app has a lot of anti-fraud technology to minimize the potential for unauthorized entry into Colorado's medical and retail stores. While traditional ID verification books and scanners won't be able to verify the digital IDs, a handheld scanner will, and we are recommending that any medical and retail stores that do not already use a handheld scanner for ID verification begin doing so."

Have more questions? Click here for the FAQ sheet put together by the state

>> Download the app in the Apple App Store or Google Play.
>> Visit myColorado.state.co.us to learn more about myColorado and the Colorado Digital ID.

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