Fighting Identity Fraud with ISO 18013-5-Compliant Mobile ID Technology Requiring Cryptographic Proof

Underage drinking in a serious problem in the United States. There are an estimated 10.8 million underage drinkers and almost 1/3 of all fatal drunk-driving cases involve someone under the age of 21[i]. Having a fake ID has become something of a rite of passage for many teens. A 2019 survey found that nearly 50% of people got their first fake ID before they were 18, and nearly 90% of people faced no legal repercussions whatsoever when their fake ID failed.[ii]. During the first six months of 2020, the Chicago U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized nearly 20,000 counterfeit U.S. driver’s licenses while working at Chicago’s O’Hare airport alone. Many were intended to be used by the underaged for purposes of illegally securing alcohol or tobacco products[iii].

But spotting a fake ID can be a difficult and subjective task.  A server or bartender is required to assess characteristics such as the thickness of the ID, the photo quality and the use of official marks and holograms which vary from state to state[iv]. The more expensive and professional the fake, the harder it can be to detect There’s a lot on the line for the server and their employer.

A restaurant or bar that serves alcohol to someone under 21 can face serious penalties — including charges, fines, loss of license and perhaps even jail time. The owner of the restaurant and/or the waitperson who served the alcohol can be held personally accountable. For the establishment, its liquor license may be suspended or permanently revoked, and the business may even be shut down. Anyone who sells or serves alcohol can also be held liable for injuries or damages caused by those who consume it, such as those that result from a drunk driving accident[v].

Going digital can help combat the prevalence of fake IDs, but only if done correctly. There are many aspects of the physical driver’s license (DL) that are easily copied or spoofed and can be replicated on any mobile phone with relative ease. Therefore, a “visual representation” of an mDL cannot be made secure and verifiers won’t be able to trust it. These types of vulnerabilities could severely limit the adoption of mobile driver’s license (mDLs) by most states.

Fortunately, there is a better approach to mobile IDs – one that will make mDLs more secure, tamper-proof, and easier to verify than physical IDs. Therefore, this removes the guesswork for bartenders and waitstaff. This cryptographic proof of ID, makes it a trustworthy, official, government-issued mobile credential that complies with ISO 18013-5. The government Issuer (DMV) e-signs the data and puts it under the control of the mDL holder (the citizen), to be used via electronic transfer. The verifier can confirm the DMV’s eSignature without touching the ID or phone. There is no way to tamper with the data that was e-signed by the issuer, reducing the possibility for fraud.

The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators’ (AAMVA) mDL Implementation Guidelines mandate compliance with ISO 18013-5 for secure mDL interoperability. GET Group North America has actively participated in this ISO standardization effort since its inception. As a result, GET Mobile ID implements the full functionality of ISO 18013-5. By adhering to the ISO standard, verifiers such as restaurants, bars and liquor stores worldwide can authenticate the validity of an mDL and the identity data of the citizen presenting the credential, even if they are not in the issuing jurisdiction.

Mobile ID technology also provides benefits to the ID holder, giving them greater control over their identity information than possible with a physical ID credential. This can ultimately help prevent identity theft and other misuse of their personal information. The mDL holder controls the amount and type of data transferred to verifiers. Licensees can, for example, release only the relevant data to show that they are over 18 or over 21 without sharing other details not pertinent to the sale of alcohol, tobacco and other age-restricted products (such as their home address or license number).

Learn more about how GET Group North America can enable safer and more secure identity transactions that may help prevent ID fraud; click here to schedule a 15-minute demo.


[i] Underage Drinking Accident Statistics | LegalMatch

[ii] Fake ID Usage in the U.S.

[iii] CBP have seized nearly 20K fake IDs in first six months of 2020 (

[iv] Bouncer Insight: How To Spot A Fake ID – Society19

[v] How to Prevent Underage Drinking at Your Bar or Restaurant | Tabak Insurance

Mobile Driver’s License Standard Approved and Published

Boston, Massachusetts, Salt Lake City, Utah (October 5, 2021) – The eagerly anticipated ISO/IEC 18013-5 International standard for Mobile Driver’s License (mDL) and Mobile IDs (mID) was unanimously approved for publication on August 18, 2021 and is now available at  Publication clears the way for global ID and Driver’s License Issuers to confidently deploy mDL solutions, and for Verifiers around the world to implement or adopt mDL readers.  Businesses, Federal and State Agencies, and other public entities verify government-issued ID documents to quickly approve transactions every day.  mDL gives the holder control of their ID data on their mobile device, while allowing acceptance via a tap or scan.

This global mDL standard was the result of over six years of effort through an open collaboration of Issuers, Technology Providers, Regional Authorities (such as AAMVA, EReg, AustRoads, and the African Tripartite), and businesses that accept identity documents to approve transactions.  Quarterly meetings were held on every continent during these years to ensure inclusivity and transitioned to fully virtual for 2020 and 2021.

ISO/IEC 18013-5 for Mobile IDs and Mobile Driver’s Licenses overcomes the insecurity of showing a card on a phone screen and offers a host of benefits for Cardholders and the Verifiers who accept ID cards and Driver’s Licenses:

  • A comprehensive global standard for sharing identity document information, matured during several test events held on nearly every continent during the last two years.
  • Multiple Ways to Interact. A secure device-to-device protocol for sharing identity information that supports multiple transmission technologies, so that mDL Holders can tap or allow a scan to share their information and Verifiers can accept mDLs quickly according to their customer flows.
  • Increased privacy for mDL users than physical cards:
    • Share Only Relevant Data. Support for data minimization (e.g., to share only the fact that one is older than 21 rather than one’s full date of birth) built into the standard.
    • Consent to Share. Controls that allow the mDL holder to release only some of the data elements requested by a relying party and only after explicit consent.
    • Phone Stays in Your Control. The phone never leaves your hand, unlike ID cards.
    • Know when Your Data is Stored. Explicit notification to an mDL holder if a Verifier intends to retain their information. Verifiers can avoid the liability of retaining data.
    • Resistant to Tracking. There is no unique identifier to see where you’ve used your mDL.
  • Difficult to forge. Stored and shared documents are cryptographically protected against counterfeit, adding resistance to the creation of fake IDs. Verifiers can easily check authenticity.
  • Works when devices do not have connection. When either the mDL device or the Verifier device does NOT have a network connection, data can be shared between devices (offline).
  • Provides privacy best practices for Issuing Authorities and Verifiers in the accompanying Privacy Annex with requirements for maximizing mDL Holder privacy.

Chrissy Nizer, Chair of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators Board of Directors said, “This standard will provide the necessary components to support mDL security and interoperability across the globe while ensuring the privacy and safety of the mDL holder.”

“TSA considers ISO standards for personal identification documents to be a cornerstone for greater security and privacy,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “The new standard for mobile driver’s licenses represents a significant step forward and will eventually help ensure a more touchless and efficient airport screening experience for all travelers.”

Austroads would like to commend the International Standards working group for ISO 18013/5 Mobile Driver Licence.  This standard was developed through strong partnership with global industry leaders in identity as well as global issuing authorities of credentials. This standard will create the foundation for not just digital driver’s licences to be trusted and accepted across state and national borders but enables the underlying identity to be used securely by citizens of participating jurisdictions to seamlessly access products and service across business, industry and government entities.”

Servi Beckers, Chairman of the Association of European Vehicle and Driver Registration authorities (EReg) said, “this standard is a good example of industry and public administration cooperating to enhance our citizens lives. It places the driving licences in our modern times where we are already used to use our mobile phones for almost anything. The great advantages I see from a citizen’s perspective are: better privacy protection, up to date driver capabilities (and thus room for tailored solutions), easier travelling (worldwide standard), and room for innovative ideas in digital services where driving licences are used.”

About GET Group North America

GET Group North America provides the Mobile Driver’s License for the State of Utah and is a leading contributor to ISO/IEC 18013-5 Personal identification — ISO-compliant driving license — Part 5: Mobile driving license (mDL) application. GET Mobile ID has implemented all interaction modes available in this International mDL Standard and meets all privacy requirements in Annex E: Privacy and securityGET Mobile Verify is an application for iOS and Android that reads and verifies all compliant mDLs and mIDs.

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GET Group NA, SVM Communications

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