Missouri lawmaker pushing for option to get your driver's license on your phone

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Your driver’s license is just a piece of plastic right now, but it could have a digital future on your phone.

That’s the idea one Missouri lawmaker is pushing for.

The traditional plastic ID card would still be issued to everyone, but under the proposed legislation, you could pay an additional fee to have it on your phone as well.

“What it does is it allows you to get your driver’s license on your mobile device,” said state Rep. Nate Tate (R-St. Clair). “It’s a completely optional program.”

Tate believes it’s much easier to forget your wallet than to forget your phone these days. That’s one reason he’s introduced House Bill 2280. The proposed legislation would allow Missourians who head to the DMV to obtain or renew a license the option of paying $50 to have the digital ID on their phone.

“Now the way it would work is that you would download an app from the app store, a secured app, and would have to put in a fingerprint or facial recognition or a pin number — something to that effect — and then the app would open up and you could see the ID,” Tate said.

Members of the House Transportation Committee raised questions about security. A representative from the Missouri Department of Revenue testified in support of the bill.

“From the other states that have implemented this, they have not had any kind of security concerns as of yet,” said Joshua Shewmaker, legislative coordinator for the revenue department.

There’s an estimated cost of slightly more than $1 million for the state to implement digital IDs. Tate believes the fee paid by those who want one would help offset that cost.

He adds that if you can’t find your phone, the Department of Revenue could still protect your ID.

“If you lose your phone, then DOR can essentially lock it so that the app that is not your phone but to where no one would be able to access it if they had your pin number or something to that effect,” Tate said.

Another question that came up during the committee hearing Monday was weather a digital ID would meet the Real ID requirements. Tate told lawmakers it’s his belief it would.

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