You're pulled over in Iowa, you roll down your window, and you hand the officer your phone. That's how it will be for some drivers starting next year as the state is on track to be the first to let users use a mobile app as an official driver’s license. The app distributed by the Iowa Department of Transportation is set to roll out in 2015 and will be provided for no additional fee.
Drivers in Iowa can choose to stick with their physical driver’s license, but the digital license will be accepted by Iowa police and security screeners at Iowa airports, Iowa DOT director Paul Trombino said, according to the Des Moines Register. And to protect the app, users will be able to secure it with a PIN.
Over 30 states already accept mobile insurance cards in lieu of a physical insurance card, so the addition of a virtual driver’s license to the mix could make it easier for drivers to provide their information to an officer during a traffic stop.
But on the flip-side, some drivers may not want to give law enforcement access to their phones. Last month, a California Highway Patrol officer was charged with two felonies after he allegedly stole a DUI suspect’s nude photos while going through her phone while she was in custody, according to Cnet.
And despite a Supreme Court ruling that prevents police from compelling suspects to give up a passcode to a phone without a warrant, a Virginia Circuit Court judge ruled that they could compel a suspect to give up a fingerprint, according to the Virginian Pilot.