Follow Us

Biden DOJ alleges Oklahoma mobile ID app violates Americans with Disabilities Act

The investigation began when a blind person told the DOJ she could not complete the app.

Published: November 19, 2023 9:25pm

(The Center Square) -

A mobile app created by the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety that would have allowed users to store their identification on their smartphones violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, the U.S. Justice Department alleges.

The investigation began when a blind person told the DOJ she could not complete the app, which requires a front and back picture of a person's identification, according to a letter sent to Oklahoma Service, the department that now oversees the app.

The DOJ tested the app and found "accessibility barriers for people with disabilities," a letter sent Thursday said.

"The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety told the Department that its third-party vendor, IDEMIA, would make the OK Mobile ID App accessible to individuals with visual disabilities in 2022," the letter said. "Despite these assurances, no significant changes have been made, and the OK Mobile ID App remains inaccessible to individuals with visual disabilities."

Iowa participated in a pilot program for mobile apps in 2015 but didn't introduce it until earlier this month as it worked through software security issues. The price tag for Iowa's app is $500,000 and the state also contracted with IDEMIA.

“Public entities, like Service Oklahoma, are increasingly using mobile apps to offer a wide range of critical government services, yet people with disabilities often face significant barriers accessing them,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Service Oklahoma was created in May 2022 to oversee driver's licenses and other motor vehicle services, according to its webpage.

The agency inherited the app on Nov. 1, 2022, according to a statement sent to The Center Square.

"Service Oklahoma discontinued any promotion, integration or development efforts on the OK Mobile ID App and have been working with the vendor to address some of the issues outlined in the report," the agency said. "As the necessary corrections are extensive, we are also exploring the option of decommissioning the app altogether due to lack of use cases with the current product."

The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook

Just the News Spotlight