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What needs to happen for North Carolina to get mobile drivers licenses

Currently, 12 states offer mobile driver's licenses or they are implementing them as we speak, but what about North Carolina?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Your smartphone is pretty much an all-in-one. You have your contracts, music, social media, and very soon, that could also include your driver's license. North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles is trying to take steps to make it a reality, but what would that entail?

Currently, 12 states offer Mobile Drivers Licenses or they are implementing them as we speak, but what about North Carolina? 


First, let's take a look at what an MDL is; according to the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administration, an MDL is a driver's license on your mobile device with the capability to be updated in real-time. It's comprised of the same data you would find on your physical driver's license. However, the data is authenticated and transmitted electronically to businesses or law enforcement. 

"This is a secure way to have a supplemental way to have your driver's license on your phone that you can have authenticated instead of giving all of your personal information," Goodwin said. 

For the latest breaking news, weather and traffic alerts, download the WCNC Charlotte mobile app.

In Louisianna, around 1.5 million people have it activated on their phones. Businesses can just scan a QR code on their phone to verify their license instead of having a look at your address or any other information on a laminated card. 

"It's even more secure than your hard copy because it depends upon facial recognition, so there are several layers of authentication before you use it," Goodwin said. 

Where is North Carolina in this process? 

"It requires authorization from the legislature to continue and go about the next steps," Goodwin said. 

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Goodwin tells WCNC he is hoping the General Assembly will pass legislation this session to move forward. 

"We are trying to get as much information as we can so we can let the legislature know who is involved, what it takes, what an MDL is, and what it's not," Goodwin said. 

Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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