Driver’s License Verification: A Comprehensive Guide

Driver’s License Verification

Obtaining a driver’s license is a milestone for many people. Before taking your driving test, you probably studied and practiced for weeks or even months. Getting your driver’s license gives you a newfound freedom that you’ve never known—the ability to go out with pals to that popular diner or purchase those new wedge sandals you’ve had your eyes on for weeks. Driver’s licenses are one of the most widely used forms of government-issued photo ID, but they are not the only form of identification. And one of the most popular ways to confirm someone’s identity or age is by asking for their driver’s license.

Driver’s License Verification: What is It?

The use of a state-issued driver’s license to verify a person’s identity or age is known as driver’s license verification. The procedure can assist you in figuring out whether the person is who they say they are and whether the driver’s license is real. Many businesses, primarily bars, liquor stores, and other shops that sell-age restricted products (like video game stores), do in-person driver’s license checks. They usually have tools that quickly determine whether a person is older than 21 or to detect a fake driver’s licenses.

Online businesses continue to use driver’s license verification as part of their digital identity verification workflow even when they are unable to feel or see a customer’s driver’s license. The verification can be a choice for adhering to required Know Your Customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) laws and regulations.

What’s the Process for Online Driver’s License Verification?

A user takes a photo of their driver’s license and uploads it as the first step in the online driver’s license verification procedure. After that, image pre-processing determines whether the image is appropriate. For instance, it might ensure that the entire driver’s license was captured, the image is clear, and there is little glare. The authenticity of the image and driver’s license are then checked by verification systems. For instance, they can make sure that the ID complies with the issuing state’s templates, and that it has the appropriate security features.

The name and birthday of the person are also taken from their driver’s license and can be compared to the information they provided on their application or in their existing profile. The barcode, expiration and issue dates, as well as the license number, can all be extracted from the image. Users may be prompted to submit a new photo of their driver’s license if the verification can’t be completed. Or, if the verifications reveal possible problems, businesses may reject an application outright, subject it to manual review, or require the applicant to go through further verification procedures.

Including a Selfie Check

To help guarantee the license wasn’t stolen and the person is present when uploading the photo, some companies incorporate a selfie check into their driver’s license verification procedure. Some businesses in high-risk areas, like financial services, have it as a standard requirement. Other businesses may utilize a selfie check as an additional step-up verification that is only activated when risk signals flag a candidate as a potential bad actor.

One or more selfies taken with a webcam or a mobile device are required for a selfie check. Video verifications are another popular alternative. The photos from the driver’s license are compared to the images that were obtained. Additionally, liveness recognition techniques help in verifying the authenticity of the selfie or video and spotting attempts to manipulate the system.

Carrying Out AAMVA Checks

The retrieved data from a driver’s license can be compared to data from the DMV issuing the license in some identity verification (IDV) solutions. They are referred as AAMVA checks because the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) manages the Driver’s License Data Verification (DLDV) service.

An AAMVA check can provide a true or false result for up to 15 attributes, including the name, address, state, zip code, eye color, height, and expiration date. This service is available in participating states. The check can help you identify dishonest individuals who have purchased, produced, or altered a driver’s license. It cannot determine whether the license is authentic or whether it belongs to the person using it. Similar to selfie checks, businesses frequently utilize the AAMVA check as a step-up option when dealing with high-risk applicants or high-value transactions.

Mobile Driver’s License Verification

Mobile driver’s licenses (mDLs), a type of electronic identity, are beginning to be issued and supported by states. They are also referred to as electronic IDs (eIDs), digital driver’s licenses (dDLs), virtual driver’s licenses (vDLs), and virtual driver’s licenses.

Users must go through an IDV process, which may include a database verification and selfie check, in order to obtain a mDL. Then, they can keep their mDL in a government-sponsored app or a mobile wallet like Apple Pay or Google Wallet. Much of the same information found on a conventional driver’s license is included in the encrypted mDLs, and users must authenticate their identity with a pin, password, face scan, or fingerprint scan in order to access or use their mDL.

mDL verifications can provide a low-friction alternative for a physical driver’s license verification for businesses. If a user submitted their mDL using a face scan rather than a selfie, you can let them skip the second selfie check and avoid having to deal with extraction problems caused by poor image quality.

Driver’s License Verification: Positive and Negative Aspects

Driver’s license verification is acclaimed as one of the most extensively adopted identity verification solutions, and for valid reasons. Driver’s license verification is among the most widely used IDV solutions, and with good reason. Many people own and frequently carry their driver’s license or another type of state-issued photo ID. And they already completed the IDV process required by their state to obtain a license.

However, poor image quality, which can result in false negatives (when a genuine user is unable to prove their identity), or a bad customer experience, which can result in drop-offs, might hinder online verification. To perpetrate identity theft, bad actors may also produce or buy fake driver’s licenses or utilize stolen driver’s license information from data breaches.

Utilizing Driver’s License Verification

Driver’s license verification may be a step-up solution to assist stop bad actors or a component of your standard onboarding procedure, depending on your business and risk tolerance. mDL verifications can be a fantastic choice once they get more acceptance. Adding selfie checks or AAMVA checks, where available and suitable, might help increase your assurance that you’re dealing with an authentic user. But controlling risk while avoiding creating too much conflict is never easy.


The latest in age verification technology has arrived. With FTx Identity, you can ensure compliance with age restrictions effortlessly. This cutting-edge technology enables you to quickly and accurately verify the age of your customers, providing peace of mind for both you and your customers. Ready to get started? Get in touch with one of our specialists today to get going with a consultation and experience a demo.

  • age verification technology
  • digital identity verification
  • Identity Verification Solutions