Coming soon to a smartphone near you: your Calif. driver’s license.

Placing Californians’ default form of identification in their phones could make many errands – and even air travel – easier.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is testing mobile driver’s licenses and hopes to launch them by the end of the year.

The DMV is currently running a pilot program with 500 participants, and the number of participants is expected to expand gradually in the coming weeks.


How it works: The Mobile Driving License (MDL) will be available in a DMV Wallet on smartphones and will serve as a companion identification to the physical driver’s license. The MDL is not intended to replace the physical license but provides Californians with an additional convenient option for identity verification.

  • In the test phase, the MDL is being accepted at certain TSA lanes in select airports, including San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX), and San Jose International (SJC).
  • The MDL can also be used at specific retail locations that utilize TruAge identification verification for age-restricted product purchases.

Testing beyond airports: Current retail locations in the Sacramento area that accept the MDL include Circle K stores at various addresses.

  • Not all establishments have or will accept the MDL yet, so individuals must still carry their physical driver’s license.
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