Will Utah implement a "digital driver's license" that includes a license holder's COVID-19 vaccination status and may eventually consist of information such as their credit score? No, that's not true: Although Utah is introducing mobile driver's licenses, or "mDLs," through a pilot program, that program does not include COVID-19 vaccination records. Other states are considering or have already implemented similar technology, with some of the programs offering digital access to COVID-19 vaccination records and other pertinent records.
The claim appeared in an article (archived here) published by The Gateway Pundit on November 1, 2021. The article opened:
A new Digital Drivers License is currently in the works in Utah and other states.
The program will include your driver's license info and your COVID-19 status. This will be tracked by the government and available to government employees.
A TGP reader sent this to us this morning-
The program may also include the following information in the future:
** Your health records
** Your financial reports
** Credit scores
** Travel records
** Vehicle registration
** Sex offender status
** Licenses and Permits you have
** Parking Fines
** Social Credit Scoring
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The News Digital Driver's License Will Include Your Vaccine Status - May Eventually Include Your Credit Score, Travel Records and Social Credit Score (VIDEO)
A new Digital Drivers License is currently in the works in Utah and other states. The program will include your driver's license info and your COVID-19 status. This will be tracked by the government and available to government employees. A TGP reader sent this to us this morning- The program may also include the following...
The Utah Department of Public Safety announced a pilot program for mDLs. The mobile driver's license is an initiative of the Secure Technology Alliance, which describes itself as "the digital security industry's premier association." According to the Utah Department of Public Safety's announcement, mDLs:
...are a secure, contactless digital form of ID that give citizens control of the personal information they share with businesses. The pilot project aims to establish acceptance of the mDL by Utahns through use in real-world scenarios such as banking, travel, traffic stops, and restaurant and liquor store transactions that require age verification. The mDL is accessed through an app that users download to their mobile device and entities such as banks or grocery stores will utilize a reader that will request, receive and verify the integrity and authenticity of the mDL by accessing the DLD's information infrastructure.
In an email to Lead Stories on November 9, 2021, Christopher Caras, director of the department's Driver License Division, said:
The Utah Driver License Division does not want and will not want to expand the app's scope beyond driver license data. There is no desire to commingle other government documents (fishing and hunting licenses, vaccine records, etc) into the driver license.
Similarly, a public affairs officer from the Utah Department of Public Safety said in an email to Lead Stories forwarded on November 9, 2021:
By law and by policy, our mobile driver license only has the same data that is included in a person's physical driver license.
They went on:
We're in a pilot phase right now and will be through the beginning of 2022.
We currently have two businesses in Utah that are capable of using the mobile license as a form of ID, a grocery store and a credit union. This week, two of our state-owned liquor stores will begin accepting the mobile license. Everyone should be aware this is an optional program, but one of the most common requests we get about the driver license is 'When can I access this on my phone?'
Further in The Gateway Pundit article, Mississippi's digital driver's license plans are mentioned. Mississippi Department of Public Safety Commissioner Sean Tindell did tell local media in early November 2021 that the state plans to launch a mobile identification app with a digital driver's license and later a digital COVID-19 vaccination record. Although he said he hoped the program would eventually include other state certifications and licenses, he did not indicate that the app would include information such as a credit score. Lead Stories reached out to the department for more information and will update this fact check with its response.
An interactive map found on the Secure Technology Alliance's mDL Connection website shows various states' progress in considering, piloting or implementing mDLs. A screenshot of the map taken at the time of writing is included below:
(Source: mDL Connection screenshot taken on Tue Nov 9 18:56:48 2021 UTC)
Colorado and Louisiana have their own legal digital driver's license apps that include records for COVID-19 vaccination and other pertinent information that are separate from the driver's licenses.