Civic News
Digital access / Municipal government / Technology

Virginia will launch a mobile ID option later this year. Is DC’s on the horizon?

Maryland's introduction of Google Wallet mobile IDs last month begs the question of if its southern neighbors will follow suit. Here's what DC and Virginia's motor vehicle agencies said.

DC's new ID card design. (Courtesy photo)
Update: This story has been updated since initial publication to incorporate new information from Virginia DMV Director of Communications Brandy Brubaker about the state's mobile ID option launching in late summer or early fall of this year. (7/11/2023, 2:23 p.m.) 

As of July, DC driver’s licenses are getting a makeover.

In addition to cherry blossoms, licenses will now feature the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge and a Wood Thrush, the district’s official bird. But after Maryland recently added a second option for mobile IDs, another pressing question among the civic tech-minded remains: When will DC introduce mobile licenses and ID cards?

Well, according to DC DMV Director Gabriel Robinson, the option is in the works — but there’s no firm timeline (there’s also an ongoing-but-unclear-when push for a mobile voting option in DC).

“The District Department of Motor Vehicles is actively pursuing digital credentials and is in talks with multiple vendors,” Robinson told “However, there is no timeline we can share at the moment.”

Virginia and Maryland, on the other hand, are making strong headway on mobile driver licenses and ID cards. Virginia has plans for 2023 to launch a digital ID app option, with Virginia DMV Director of Communications Brandy Brubaker telling that the app will launch in late summer or early fall.

“We are excited to launch a mobile ID app later this year in partnership with our driver’s license vendor, CBN Secure Technologies,” Brubaker wrote to in an email.

Maryland, meanwhile, has far surpassed DC and Virginia in mobile wallet options. Maryland was already one of four states that offered a mobile ID option in the Apple Wallet, alongside Arizona, Colorado and Georgia, according to Apple’s website. And last month, it became the first state to launch a Google Wallet option.

“Maryland is leading the way in creating a more competitive and innovative digital environment while prioritizing accessibility and customer service,” said Gov. Wes Moore. “Maryland Mobile ID advances our administration’s work to deliver safe and secure services that benefit all Marylanders.”

IDs in Maryland’s digital wallet options are securely encrypted, and personal information stays protected unless a user explicitly shares it. The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration said that if an Apple product with an ID is lost, you can manage the digital ID with Apple’s Find My function.

Companies: District of Columbia / State of Maryland

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