Mar 08 2022

Texas Launches Single Digital Identity for Accessing State Services

A new application is transforming the way Texans interact with state government.

Many state and local government services have long been difficult to access, whether that service is renewing a driver’s license, applying for unemployment benefits or simply speaking to an agency representative. Some states, however, are adopting new ways to deliver a modern, faster and more reliable experience for residents.

Recently, the Texas Department of Information Resources launched a new digital assistant platform called Texas by Texas (TxT), which allows residents to more easily access state services online.

To access the platform and services across multiple agencies, residents simply create a universal login and password. The release of this new system promises flexibility and a simplified user experience.

It’s also part of a broader trend among state governments to adopt identity and access management programs that allow residents to access government services via a single digital identity. Some states, such as Ohio, have mature offerings, while others, such as Illinois, are just getting theirs off the ground.

VIDEO: Watch how Ohio is innovating with OHID, its single sign-on for government services.

What Is Texas’s TxT Program?

Texas CIO Amanda Crawford said the TxT program “is the culmination of a multi-year effort” aimed toward streamlining citizen access to government and redefining “how Texans interact with their government,” according to a release.

Texas DIR, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles and the Texas Department of Public Safety all partnered with Deloitte to construct the TxT platform, which uses a single digital identity (SDI) format across services and agencies.

An SDI streamlines the process and can determine which services are accessed most frequently, helping to create a more personalized experience. The state is touting the platform’s intuitiveness, security and simplicity.

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How Texas Hopes Residents Will Benefit from TxT

A primary goal of TxT is to make accessing government services “easier, faster and more secure,” Crawford recently told StateTech. To realize this goal, TxT is available online and can be accessed via most browsers and across devices including computers, tablets and smartphones via the TxT application.

The TxT application is a newer addition and is meant to be a one-stop shop for residents accessing government services across multiple agencies. A personalized dashboard stores payment information and transaction histories, and residents can renew or replace their driver’s licenses or state IDs, renew vehicle registrations, or renew professional licenses.

Texas DIR expects to add more constituent-facing state agency services to the platform in the near future. As Crawford tells Government Technology, “The idea for Texas by Texas came from Texans. Texans want to spend more time doing the things they want to do and spend less time trying to navigate the web that government can be.”

RELATED: Texas CIO Amanda Crawford explains how the state is modernizing IT.

TxT Goes Beyond Registrations and Renewals

While residents have a new and convenient way to access government services, Texas also is aiming to use the platform to improve residents’ safety.

“Public safety is always our top priority,” says DPS Director Steven McCraw. He says part of public safety is ensuring that state documents, such as driver’s licenses, are accurate and up to date.

Christopher Keel, principal at Deloitte Consulting, says, “TxT is a significant milestone in the delivery of digital services for Texans.”

As Texans reduce time waiting in line at physical offices, they can focus on what matters most, the “lives, careers and families that make Texas such a great place,” Crawford says.

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