Iowa Wants to Take Your Driver’s License Digital


Beginning next year, Iowa’s Department of Transportation will issue an official app that can store a driver’s license and ID. In an era where we’re slowly edging toward a wallet-free future, this is pretty big news. But don’t expect it to completely replace your ID for good.

Not everyone owns a smartphone, so the new system will merely be meant to supplement your physical card. Iowa’s DOT director, Paul Trombino, explained that the “identity vault app” would be secured with a PIN for security, which means if your phone is lost or stolen thieves won’t (in theory) have easy access to your information. Trombino noted that once the app launches, it could also help complement the electronic proof of insurance that Iowa (and over 30 states) already supports.

Once the initiative gets off the ground, Iowa law enforcement will accept the digital version of your ID during traffic stops and even at airports. If done right, Trombino sees the idea also being implemented by other states, so Iowa is essentially at the forefront a pilot program that’ll determine whether or not replacing your physical ID card is actually viable.

As people get accustomed to the idea of replacing physical objects with digital representations, perhaps an idea like this could work. Making payments with your phone is no longer a foreign concept and, who knows, maybe you’ll even be able to use your phone when you get carded at the club.