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enhanced driver's license (EDL)

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

An enhanced driver's license (EDL) is a government-issued permit that, in addition to the standard features of a driver's license, includes an RFID tag that allows officials to pull up the owner's biographical and biometric data.

The EDL doesn't store user data itself but connects to the card holder's record in a secure database through a unique identifier. The RFID chip broadcasts the card-holder's ID to the receiving system and the system brings up the information associated with that ID. 

EDLs are Real ID-compliant, which means that they also include:

  • A photograph of the license holder's face.
  • Physical security features designed to prevent counterfeiting or duplication of the ID, including a hologram.
  • Machine-readable bar codes that can include additional data.

For road, rail and sea travel, an EDL can be used instead of a passport at border crossings. A passport is required for international air travel, however. 

 

This was last updated in November 2012

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