Iowa to allow residents to use a smartphone instead of a driver's license starting next year

Iowa to allow residents to use a smartphone instead of a driver's license starting next year
Imagine that you live in Iowa and get pulled over by the police. Asking you to roll down your window, the officer asks to see your proof of insurance, vehicle registration, and your smartphone. Your smartphone? Is it against the law to operate a certain smartphone brand in the state? No. But what the state does have up its sleeve, is a way for Iowans to have a facsimile of their driver's license appear on a smartphone.

A mobile app will be available for free from the Iowa Department of Transportation. PIN numbers will be used to verify identities. This would seem to be the next natural step up for Iowa. The state is one of 30 that already accepts electronic proof of auto insurance, making it easier for those pulled over by a cop to find their insurance information.

Iowa's DOT has turned to modern technology to make improvements. Snowplows now feature dashboard cameras, and the agency is turning to paperless construction projects. The smartphone driver's license will be accepted at traffic stops, and will be counted as valid identification at the airport. Drivers who are more resistant to change can still decide to carry an old fashioned driver's license in their wallet. 

Iowa says that if this proves to be a success, it will use the technology for some other state licenses.

Thanks for the tip!

source: DesMoinesRegister



1. curtdragon

Posts: 22; Member since: Nov 13, 2014

While I have your phone. I'm just gonna go through it. Yes you can pin apps etc but the major population has no idea about it and it's on 5.0 which is still in it's early stages

20. TheMan

Posts: 494; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

That was my thought, too, albeit the second one. My first thought was to have running a hidden video app.

3. Neo_Huang

Posts: 1067; Member since: Dec 06, 2013

That is messed up.

9. reckless562

Posts: 1153; Member since: Sep 09, 2013


5. hmd74

Posts: 540; Member since: Jan 31, 2013

What if my phone's battery was ended? :|

7. reckless562

Posts: 1153; Member since: Sep 09, 2013

Car charger foolio, comeon!!! u DESERVE a ticket if u drive a car n dont have a car charger!!! n thats a MINIMUM requirement, for ppl like us on this site. i personally have a lil 75 watt power inverter, one ofe those things that lets u use AC power, u know a "House Plug." so i dont relly a "Car" charger either, i just use my "regular" 2 Amp chargers in my car. ***drops mic walks away...***

18. Ashoaib

Posts: 3276; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

why dont you keep car charger? thats strange

21. reckless562

Posts: 1153; Member since: Sep 09, 2013

some one is dumb

8. PK1983

Posts: 215; Member since: Aug 08, 2012

Bad idea. Notwithstanding simple issues like your phone running out of battery, do you really want to hand a cop your unlocked phone? This gives them basically every right to rummage through it. * Note, just because I don't want others snooping through my stuff and I believe in privacy does not mean I am anti-cop or that I am doing something illegal. We have the Constitution in place for a reason.

11. CanYouSeeTheLight

Posts: 1122; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Not to mention someone will find a way to easily make fake licenses.

10. quakan

Posts: 1418; Member since: Mar 02, 2011

I'd much rather have the plastic instead of having my phone subject to a search at a cop's discretion.

13. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Just pin the app if you have Lollipop

12. iLovesarcasm

Posts: 589; Member since: Oct 20, 2014

So they can confiscate your phone?

14. ilani

Posts: 90; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

This is stupid! You are a RETARD, if you hand a police officer your unlocked phone! Everyone has something to hide, especially those that don't even know it. People nowadays don't even hand their phones over to their significant other, let alone strangers. Here's a better idea, how about the state allows an option to print physical drivers licenses, with Matrix (2D) barcodes on the back with insurance and ownership information on it?

17. mixedfish

Posts: 1553; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

If you're going to carry a piece of paper with a barcode on it, why not just carry your license? The app instead allows you to carry nothing, which is the whole point. DERP

19. toiletcleaner

Posts: 224; Member since: Oct 10, 2012

Stop taking naked photos whit your phone.

16. JoeDirt

Posts: 49; Member since: Oct 19, 2013

I don't see why this would be a problem for iPhone users. Apple could make your drivers license a part of Passbook. This way you could give the Police Officer your drivers license all while your phone is locked! I love this idea. I could finally leave my wallet at home.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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