The Iowa Department of Transportation would like it if everyone would carry their driver’s license on their cell phone.
The app, which will be provided to drivers at no additional cost, will be available sometime in 2015, DOT Director Paul Trombino told Gov. Terry Branstad during a state agency budget hearing Monday.
“We are really moving forward on this,” Trombino said. “The way things are going, we may be the first in the nation.”
People will still be able to stick a traditional plastic driver’s license in their wallet or purse if they choose, Trombino said. But the new digital license, which he described as “an identity vault app,” will be accepted by Iowa law enforcement officers during traffic stops and by security officers screening travelers at Iowa’s airports, he said.
“It is basically your license on your phone,” he said.
At least for now, it’s possible to stick to the traditional license, but what happens when that becomes mandatory? What if you don’t have a cell phone? Will you be forced to get one in order to have a driver’s license or not be allowed to drive?
There are also privacy concerns. Right now, nearly every state requires some sort of warrant before police can unlock your phone. Once you unlock your phone to show your driver’s license, police are free to search it at will.
The new app should be highly secure, Trombino said. People will use a pin number for verification.
Should be. How long is the PIN? If it’s the traditional 4-digit PIN, it’s not highly secure.
While Iowa may be the first to allow driver’s licenses on phones, it is among 30 states that already allow electronic proof of insurance.