Smartphone-Compatible Digital Driver's Licenses Launching in Iowa in 2015

The Iowa Department of Transportation will begin allowing customers the option of receiving their newly issued driver's licenses via a mobile app on their smartphones, reports The Des Moines Register.

The app, set to launch next year, will be available to customers at no additional cost and will include all of the necessary information a traditional plastic license includes.

iowa_iphone_drivers_license
During a state agency budget hearing this past Monday, DOT Director Paul Trombino reassured Iowa Governor Terry Branstad about the upcoming launch of the pioneering digital ID system.
"We are really moving forward on this," Trombino said. "The way things are going, we may be the first in the nation."
Trombino assured that those wanting to stick with a traditional plastic ID will have the option to do so, but that the new digital license will be widely supported throughout the state, including "Iowa law enforcement officers during traffic stops and by security officers screening travelers at Iowa's airports." The new smartphone app was called "an Identity Vault app" and is promised to be highly secure, with customers using a PIN number for verification.

More than thirty states, including Iowa, already accept digital copies of proof of insurance during traffic stops, so a driver's license as a smartphone app is the next logical step.



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57 months ago
...yeah

So now you're unlocking your phone and giving it to an officer so rules on searches and seizures don't apply. Sign me up!
Rating: 29 Votes
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57 months ago

So now you're unlocking your phone and giving it to an officer so rules on searches and seizures don't apply. Sign me up!


Was just going to write that. No way in hell I'm unlocking my phone and handing it to the officer and waiting 20 mins while he keeps it in his car, like they do with licenses right now. While they "run the information".

Why are people just throwing their freedoms and privacy away?
Rating: 24 Votes
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57 months ago
Sure, officer, feel free to search my phone.
:rolleyes:
Rating: 22 Votes
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57 months ago

So now you're unlocking your phone and giving it to an officer so rules on searches and seizures don't apply. Sign me up!


Agreed. I would use this app anywhere that would take it (restaurants, bars, retailers) when they ask for ID rather than carry a wallet.
But I will never EVER use it for a traffic stop. I will keep my physical license in a pouch in the vehicle for that.
Rating: 17 Votes
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57 months ago
Maybe they can include Apple Pay support so you can pay for fines right away too :P
Rating: 11 Votes
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57 months ago
This is only ok if the rest of your phone is somehow locked when you hand the officer your "license". Otherwise you give up your right to privacy. I predict issues with cops taking liberties by poking around in your phone.
Rating: 11 Votes
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57 months ago
And when the officer drops your iphone and damages it who pays?
Rating: 9 Votes
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57 months ago
While I like the idea in terms of getting one step closer to not carrying a wallet, there's no way in hell I'd hand my iPhone over to a cop. Not because I have anything illegal on my phone but because I don't like handing my unlocked phone over to anyone I don't know.

If they made the driver's license accessible from the lock screen without needing to unlock the phone (like the health/identification information screen today), that's the only way I'd consider using a digital driver's license. Iowa's implementation involves a standalone app which would almost certainly require that the phone be unlocked in order to access it so it isn't something I'd care to use.
Rating: 7 Votes
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57 months ago

Agreed. I would use this app anywhere that would take it (restaurants, bars, retailers) when they ask for ID rather than carry a wallet.
But I will never EVER use it for a traffic stop. I will keep my physical license in a pouch in the vehicle for that.


I would do this too. Stores look at my ID for only a few seconds and right in front of me. The cop that pulls me over can take my physical license and take ages to run it while I keep my phone with me.
Rating: 6 Votes
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57 months ago
Here's a question I don't think anyone has asked: what about interstate travel?

When you're pulled over, the cop wants to see your license. What if you get pulled over in say, South Dakota but have an Iowa digital license? Will the SD cop accept it? I know right now they'll accept plastic licenses from other states, but what if you're in a state which doesn't have digital licenses yet?
Rating: 6 Votes
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