DDL Pilot Goes Live in Maryland and Washington DC

Last updated: 19 October 2018

Gemalto’s live pilot for digital driver’s licenses is progressing quickly after a successful phase one launch in Colorado in July.

Our DDL team recently spent an action-packed four days with eager pilot participants in Maryland and Washington D.C.

As the DDL pilot expanded eastward, we were able to apply digital driver’s license technology in a number of real-world settings and collect feedback from several new use-cases.

Checking out DDL at Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits in Maryland

​​The pilot kicked off at Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits, a quaint family-owned and run liquor store in Annapolis, MD.

After decades specializing in fine wine, beer, and spirits, Bay Ridge has evolved into a customer-focused, community-minded small businesses leader in the region. Their team was focused on learning all they could about DDL technology, as we talked through their daily challenges with verifying IDs for proof of age and what impact a DDL could have on this process.

Learn the four main use cases of DDL in our infographic.

Pilot participants from Maryland and DC stopped by to test the technology from the user’s perspective with their smartphone-based DDLs. The friendly “Brew Crew” associates conducted multiple ID checks and were surprised by how fast and easy verifying a customer’s age with a DDL proved to be.

DDL Pilot tests age verification scenario at a liquor store in Maryland

The favorable response from a trusted local establishment spoke volumes about the eagerness to adopt cutting-edge technologies like DDL in the area, and applying a digital driver’s license solution in a real-world setting showed just how convenient and secure a transaction using the DDL can be!

Testing DDL with Law Enforcement in Maryland

The next two days of Maryland’s DDL pilot enlisted the help of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police and a group of willing test drivers for a series of simulated roadside traffic stops.

The MDTA Police, which is responsible for law enforcement at the Authority’s highways, tunnels and bridges, BWI Airport, and at the Port of Baltimore, was able to engage DDL technology in a number of common cases where driver identification is required.

Instead of drivers turning over a physical license to the police officer when they were “pulled over,” pilot participants were equipped with individual digital driver’s licenses on their mobile devices, and officers were able to verify the drivers’ records electronically.

Law Enforcement test out the DDL Pilot for ID verification in Maryland

It was a win-win in terms of security and efficiency because drivers did not have to part with their secured documents – or in the case of a DDL, with their mobile phones – and officers had a quick and reliable platform to verify license credentials. Nobody likes getting pulled over, but DDL pilot users and MDTA officers were all smiles during the test, enjoying the efficiency of the verification process.

Game on with casino verification in Maryland

The next stop for the DDL pilot team was at Maryland Live! Casino, a 24/7 casino and entertainment complex with thousands of games and classic decor.

There, Maryland and D.C. pilot participants explored the benefits of DDL technology firsthand by verifying their proof-of-age electronically instead of using traditional physical licenses to enter the venue.

In Maryland, DDL Pilot tests age verification for casino admittance

DDL pilot participants were equipped with an individual digital credential on their mobile device, which offered users the privacy of displaying the personal information that is relevant for age verification instead of all the information that is normally visible when you hand over a plastic driver’s license or ID.

In an age-restricted establishment like Maryland Live! Casino, venue employees and DDL pilot users alike appreciated the innovative, secure, and efficient way to verify a customer’s proof-of-age, so they can quickly and easily enter the facility and start having some fun!

Slidi​ng into home at Oriole Park

To round out the week’s activity in Maryland, the DDL team was hosted by the Baltimore Orioles at their beautiful ballpark at Camden Yards.

Partnering with the Maryland Department of Transportation for their annual employee game night, we set up a booth-style demonstration area to give the nearly 27,000 ballgame attendees a sneak peek at the DDL technology we’ve been testing during this pilot.

Baseball fans in Maryland use a digital driver’s license during the DDL Pilot

We allowed the fans who were passing by – Orioles and Astros enthusiasts alike – to use sample credentials on demo phones to simulate the age verification process using a digital driver’s license. We then gathered feedback through our onsite response surveys and talked through potential future use cases with many interested parties.

Throughout the event we heard all kinds of perspectives from both Maryland residents and out-of-towners. Overall, it generated a strong sense of excitement for the technology, with many people asking where they could get their own DDL. Though the Orioles did not manage to pull out a win over the top-ranked Houston Astros, the DDL team finished the week batting 1.000 with a fantastic evening at Oriole Park!

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