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.
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.