Iowa’s Going To Have Smartphone Driver’s Licenses

It’s time to leave that wallet at home. The driver’s license is going digital, at least in Iowa it is.

Coming in 2015, instead of flashing a plastic ID at a cop, drivers in the state of Iowa will be able to show off a mobile app installed on their smartphones that acts as their official license, according to The Des Moines Register. It will likely be the first state to officially offer this kind of digital driver’s license.

The app will be free and the idea is that it will work as an “identity vault app,” Iowa DOT Director Paul Trombino said during a state public hearing on Monday. It will be accepted by local law enforcement officers during traffic stops and at Iowa’s airports during security checkpoints before residents fly out of the state. It’s always important to have your drivers licence on you while you drive, if you have never gotten one before and need one fast then make sure to check out this commercial driving license.

Iowa’s digital driver’s license will be secured by a pin number and will feature an animated image of the driver’s face rotating from side to side, Trombino said. He added that even more security features could be baked into the app to let officers have an easier time identifying citizens.

Iowa, a state one might not expect to be particularly tech-forward, already lets motorists carry their proof of insurance on a digital device, and its local DOT actually offers a few other decently-reviewed apps on Apple’s iTunes Store and Google Play. Trombino said he plans to test the app with an internal team before making it available to the public next year.

This means that Iowa could act as nation’s guinea pig for testing whether this sort of effort can be successful. Of course, the digital license will work best if local businesses—bars and restaurants, and their bouncers—start accepting it as a valid form of ID. And if your smartphone is equipped with some form of digital payment, there’s all the more reason to ditch your wallet entirely.

France is the number 1 holiday destination in the world for tourists and each year more than 85 million visit. Of that number, 14 million are British nationals and many take their cars. This article helps to clarify the major points and to dispel the myth that the only factor that drivers need to be aware of is to “keep right” and to drive on the other side of the road when coming off the ferry in France.

If you are looking to drive in France then you you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid UK driving licence, insurance and vehicle documents. Failure to comply may lead to a fine and/or your vehicle being impounded. You are not permitted to drive at 17 even if you hold a valid licence. If you do not own the vehicle you are driving, you are advised to obtain written permission from the registered owner.

Driving is considered safe and in 2008 there were 4,275 road deaths in France. This equates to 6.7 road deaths per 100,000 of population and compares favourbaly against the UK average of 4.3 per 100,000. Tiredness was a big contributor to this figure and due to the size of the country many drivers will undertake long journeys cross country. If you are driving long distances then care should be taken to plan your journey and to take regular breaks. Please dont become a statistic for the sake of a break.

Fuel in France is similar to the UK and unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG are all available. Petrol stations will allow you to top up a jerry can but note that carrying fuel in one of these containers sis forbidden by the ferry and Eurotunnel operators. A new type of fuel, the SP95-E10 which contains a 10% Ethanol mix is now available throughout Franc but this fuel is not suitable for use in all cars and you should check compatibility with your manufacturer before using. Many European Breakdown Cover policies will not provide cover if you mistakenly refuel you vehicle with the wrong fuel.

Driving regulations in France are different from those in the UK. Speeding can result in heavy, on the spot fines and potentially immediate confiscation of your vehicle and licence.

Although the French like a glass of “Vin” at lunchtime they take there drinking and driving laws very seriously. If the level of alcohol in the bloodstream is 0.05 per cent or more, severe penalties are imposed include fines, imprisonment and/or confiscation of the driving licence. The same applies to diving under the influence of drugs and saliva drug tests will be used to detect drivers under the influence of drugs. Penalties are severe and are similar to those of drink driving.

It is compulsory in France for front and rear seat occupants to wear seat belts, if fitted. It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure all passengers under 18 are appropriately restrained. Children under the age of 10 are not permitted to travel on the front seats of vehicles. They must travel in an approved child seat or restraint adapted to their size. A baby up to 13kg must be carried in a rear facing baby seat. A child between 9 and 18kg must be seated in a child seat and a child from 15kg up to 10 years can use a booster seat with a seat belt or a harness.

The French Police take speeding seriously and their are grave consequences for non compliance. Holders of EU driving licenses exceeding the speed limit by more than 40 km/h will have their licenses confiscated on the spot by the police. In built-up areas the limit is 50 km/hr (31 mph), outside built-up areas 90 Km/hr (56 mph). 110 km/hr (68 mph) on dual carriageways separated by a central reservation and 130Km/hr (80 mph) on motorways. Lower speed limits do apply in wet weather and to visiting motorists who have held a driving licence for less than two years.

If you are looking to beat the Police at their own game, don’t try. In-car radar detectors are illegal in France whether in use or not. On-the-spot fines are severe and involves a fine of up to 1500 Euros and the vehicle and/or device may be confiscated. Other apparatus such as televisions, video, DVD equipment which could potentially distract a driver should be positioned so the driver is unable to see them. This excludes GPS systems. It is prohibited to touch or program the device unless parked in a safe place.

Motorcycles driving in France are required to raise their profile to other road users and the use of dipped headlights during the day is compulsory. The wearing of crash helmets is also compulsory for both driver and passenger of any two-wheel motorized vehicle. Dipped headlights is recommended for all vehicles and must be used in poor daytime visibility. It is highly recommended by the French Government that 4×4 wheeled vehicles use dipped headlights day and night.

It is compulsory in France to carry the following safety equipment within any vehicle with more than 2 wheels. A Warning triangle, Reflective Jacket and snow chains. A Spare bulb kit is recommended.

In terms of general driving habits the following are worth noting. In built-up areas give way to traffic coming from the right “Priorite a droite”. At signed roundabouts bearing the words “Vous n’avez pas la priorite” or “Cedez le passage” traffic on the roundabout has priority. Where no such sign exists traffic entering the roundabout has priority. Overtaking stationary trams is prohibited when passengers are either getting or off the tram. In built up areas the use of the horn is prohibited except in cases of immediate danger.