Indiana could soon let you use digital driver’s licenses

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Indiana could soon enter the era of digital driver’s licenses.

One state lawmaker wants to make it a possibility.

Here’s how it would work: You get pulled over by a police officer but you forgot your wallet. If state Sen. Eddie Melton‘s bill passes, you’d could have a digital copy of your driver’s license on your phone. 

The bill would allow the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to put your state Identification, learner’s permit or driver’s license onto an app on your phone if you ask them. Melton said a mobile driver’s license would be a convenience for Hoosiers.

“This is not to replace our existing driver’s license,” the Democrat from Gary said. “This is a supplement to allow that information to be on an application.”

Luke Turgeon of Indianapolis likes the idea. “A lot of people contain all the cards they need in their phone already. I think it’s a smart move, to move towards that.”

Several states including Louisiana either use digital licenses, have pilot programs or are considering it. 

Hannah Johnson of Indianapolis does not like the idea. “I don’t think I’d go for that. … I don’t know, I like paper copies a lot.” 

According to the bill, a police officer or court would be unable to take your phone, keep it as evidence or download information without your permission.

Melton said he wants to work with the BMV and police to make sure the app on your phone is protected.

“It’s also going to make sure that our law enforcement officers don’t have to personally handle the device. They can simply look at the license to verify it, by the individual touching the screen,” Melton said. “The seal, or crest, that indicates this is a valid identification from the state of Indiana will appear.”

Still some people have security concerns about the idea.

“I feel like it would be easy to steal someone’s identity, like if they steal your phone,” Johnson said.

Melton will know the status of his bill in the coming days.

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