Stopped by state patrol in Eagle County? You can now use a digital ID
Save your ID in your phone
EAGLE COUNTY – Troopers began accepting a digital version of state identification on Nov. 30, and Colorado State Patrol trooper Jacob Best has already been presented one in a traffic stop.
He said he was impressed, and let the person off with a warning.
“I thought it was was a very cool thing, to see somebody with it right off the bat,” Best said. “It was kind of cool to see that technology live in the field.”
On Oct. 30, 2019, Gov. Jared Polis signed an executive order to authorize Digital ID as a legal form of identification in Colorado. The Colorado Digital ID is accessed from within the myColorado mobile app and is valid as proof of identity, age and address for traffic stops within the state.
Colorado is the first state in the nation to offer residents the option to electronically transmit digital identification, vehicle registration and proof of insurance to law enforcement, according to a release issued by the state.
“Mobile digital identity is the way of the future and our goal is for Colorado to lead the way in convenience and security with the Digital ID,” Polis was quoted as saying in the release. “Digital IDs on smartphones are already valid for purchasing alcohol and marijuana, and now I want to thank the Colorado State Patrol for their leadership in accepting Digital ID for traffic stops and paving the way for other local law enforcement agencies to begin accepting Digital ID, and soon allow for cross-jurisdictional use throughout Colorado.”
Best said troopers received a sneak preview of some of the problems that could occur with Colorado Digital IDs when the state started accepting digital proof of insurance a few years ago. He said the best advice he can give people hoping to go digital is to not rely on the internet.
In other words, if you want to increase your chances of a warning, you don’t want to leave officers waiting outside of your car while you wait on your two bars of service to load your ID.
“It’s not safe for us or the person that’s stopped to be sitting on the side of the roadway for an extended period of time trying to log in,” Best said. “So we really encourage people to have at least a photo of it, or have it preloaded, or downloaded.”
Especially in this area.
“Having service is not always a guarantee on Vail Pass, where we have a lot of contacts with people involved in crashes or traffic violations,” he said.
But if the app is used properly, and your ID is downloaded ahead of time, it should actually reduce time spent outside of the patrol car on dangerous roadways in Colorado, Best said. The officer can scan the ID off your device using their own device, reducing paperwork.
“They’ll scan my QR code on the side of the road, they’ll see this is Trooper Best confirming you want to send your driver’s license, your insurance and your registration information over, they’ll click yes, and then it goes back to my car,” he said.
“Anything we can do to reduce the length of time spent on the roadside increases safety,” said Col. Matthew Packard, of Colorado State Patrol.
COVID-19 scares among officers have also prompted the use of touchless devices, Packard said.
“The global pandemic introduces a whole new dimension of health and safety concerns for both troopers and our residents,” Packard said. “Eliminating the need to handle a physical ID while on the road is one way to reduce exposure to the virus.”
In time, officers may even have to find new lingo for what they now call “contact” with a civilian.
“It’s a great way to have contact-less contact,” Best said.
For now, though, while the kinks are being worked out, Best said you’re still going to want to carry your old ID.
“We would prefer, until we get all the bugs worked out, that you keep your old ID on you, just until we work through the bugs and any weird nuances that may come up,” he said.
Local agencies have yet to adopt the technology, as well. While Colorado State Patrol is the first and only law enforcement agency accepting Digital ID, the state has been actively engaging with local police and sheriff’s offices, according to the release.
“Until full acceptance of Colorado Digital ID is available at all local and state jurisdictions, residents should always carry their physical driver license or state identification cards wherever they go,” according to the release.
Learn more by visiting mycolorado.gov/partners.
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