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.

Source: Wired