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If you live in Iowa, you can now use a smartphone as your driver’s license

Launching within a mobile app during 2015, the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) will soon give motorists the option of pulling up their driver’s license on their smartphone. According to Iowa DOT Director Paul Trombino, Iowa law enforcement officers will accept the digital license during traffic stops or other situations that call for proof of identification. In addition, Iowa residents flying out of airports within the state will be able to present the digital license when passing through security checkpoints before getting on their flight.

Detailed by the Des Moines Register, the app will require a pin number to bring up the digital license on the screen. Assuming the digital license is being verified at the traffic stop, Iowa residents also have the option of presenting insurance information on their smartphone as well. Hypothetically, this eliminates the need to carry around most physical cards related to operating a vehicle.

Assuming the application gains acceptance over time, private businesses may start offering the option of accepting a digital license. Restaurants and bars, for instance, would be an ideal place for this technology, especially if the business also accepts digital payments. That would completely eliminate the need to carry a wallet or purse while out on the town.

Regarding the eventual launch of the digital driver’s license, the Iowa DOT plans to test the mobile application within a small group of state employees for approximately six months before releasing the app to the public. Interestingly, the DOT is thinking about offering it as an option as soon as a driver’s test is passed. Rather than waiting for a physical card in the mail, new motorists will be able to bring up their digital license immediately after passing the exam. If the mobile app is a success, it’s likely that other states will attempt to copy Iowa in offering a digital license.