March 14 (UPI) -- Delaware residents may be among the first in the country to use mobile driver's licenses after the state's department of transportation announced Wednesday a pilot program to test the technology.
The Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles said it launched a six-month study to test the licenses, which would be accessed on smartphones. With the technology, police would be able to ping a driver's cellphone for the license and view it before approaching the vehicle during a traffic stop.
The Delaware Department of Transportation said the mobile license can only be unlocked and accessed by the license holder through a personal identification number or facial recognition technology.
The state is testing the mobile licenses on 200 state employees and stakeholders.
"This six-month pilot will help us see what [mobile driver's licenses] look like in real-world scenarios and address any issues that arise as a result before we decide to fully adopt and implement this application for our more than 800,000 licensed drivers and ID card holders," Delaware Secretary of Transportation Jennifer Cohan said.
DelDOT said the mobile app also would protect the privacy of people who must show their identification to verify their age for certain purchases -- it has a feature that would show their age and photo without displaying their address, birthdate or license number.
"It is exciting for us to be one of the first states to test this innovative technology that can both protect the privacy of our customers and enhance safety in ways that can't be achieved with a traditional driver license or identification card," said Scott Vien, director of the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles. "It is our responsibility to always bring the best-in-class offerings to our State and an mDL holds the promise of offering an always-updated, secure credential that will be easy-to-use by our consumers, businesses and law enforcement."