Future of Iowa digital driver’s license unclear

Shane McGlaun - Dec 10, 2014, 6:50 am CST
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Future of Iowa digital driver’s license unclear

State officials in Iowa have a plan that will allow drivers to have a digital version of their driver’s license rather than having to keep up with a physical card as states have now. These digital licenses would be on the driver’s smartphone as an app. The logistics of the plan are now in question as state officials wonder if these digital licenses are something that motorists want.

Iowa’s State Department of Transportation revealed Monday that it was working on a secure mobile app that would have all the details normally on a plastic license along with a scanable link that goes to DOT databases. That link would take police and officials directly to the details on the driver to let them know that the license is up to date.

Exactly how the app would be used is in question and challenges to the plan have surfaced. One of the issues is that the driver’s phone would have to be taken to the police cruiser to be scanned by the officer. People concerned with privacy will not like that idea.

There are also other issues that could arise. If the phone is dead officers wouldn’t be able to scan the code or if the screen was cracked scanning might be impossible. If the officer was unable to scan the code and check the driver’s license, it would probably lead to tickets that drivers have to sort out later just as you would if you had forgot a wallet or purse and were pulled over. DOT and state employees are trying out the app over a few months in 2015 to help work out kinks. If the digital license plan moves forward, it will be voluntary.

SOURCE: USA Today


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