Several states are looking into digitizing driver’s licenses for display on smartphones and Delaware wants to be the first to implement the system. Via the Washington Post:
The Delaware legislature passed a bill last week asking the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles to “study and consider issuing” digital driver’s licenses that could replace the traditional plastic ones. This bill notes that since people in the state are already using their phones for things such as working and banking, so giving them the option for a digital driver’s license could be a way of “increasing convenience” for drivers in the state. And it would just be an option, giving drivers the choice of loading it on their phone or sticking with the plastic card wedged into a wallet. The First State isn’t the first to suggest such an idea — Iowa said last month it planned to have a pilot program testing smartphone driver’s licenses — but Delaware wants to beat them out of the gate, if possible. “We’d like to go first,” said Jennifer Cohan, head of the state’s motor vehicle division, told DelawareOnline. “If it works for Delaware, then it will be a new option for Delaware citizens to show proof of driver’s license and identification.”
The above-linked story points out obvious issues with the plan, noting that a driver pulled over with a dead phone would be a driver without a license. Also of concern are privacy issues – some would be hesitant to hand over their “digital diary” to a police officer.