The state of Iowa is planning to introduce a smartphone-based licensing system that allows drivers to leave their physical license at home. The Iowa Department of Transportation says the program should be ready to launch sometime in 2015.
Iowa Department of Transportation director Paul Trombino says that, starting next year, the state’s law enforcement officers will accept driver’s licenses pulled up on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. This means that if someone is pulled over for some kind of a traffic infraction, they can present their license using a mobile application rather than pull out their wallet.
The system should also be convenient for people flying out of airports within the state — when asked for identification, they need only present their smartphone. It will also help people visiting establishments which may require identification, such as bars or stores that sell alcohol and cigarettes.
Reports indicate that, in order for the app to work, users will have to verify their license. The app will protect users’ information with a pin code, which must be entered to access a license.
Iowa state officials say that law enforcement officials will also allow drivers to present their insurance information via smartphone, should a digital driver’s license be verified at a traffic stop.
Iowa officials say their mobile-based licensing system is slated for six months of testing before being released to the wider public. In other words, if all goes well Iowa residents should be able to use the system by late summer or early fall 2015.