It was bound to happen, but nobody was really sure how it would culminate. However, next year the Iowa state government is planning on releasing a free app to allow their citizens to use as their means of identification instead of carrying their plastic drivers license.
A Drivers License On Your Phone
According to Iowa Department of Transportation Director Paul Trombino, it will be “basically your [drivers] license on your phone.” This will allow Iowan citizens to just remember to have their smartphone with them, and not have to worry about making sure they have their drivers license with them every time they get in the car. It will be accepted at traffic stops as well as at airports, according to the original report.
Obviously there are concerns about the how secure the app will be and from the point of keeping the licencee’s information safe from intruders, they have commented that the app will be “highly secure,” requiring a pin number to access the drivers license within the app.
One major improvement over plastic drivers licenses is that the app will offer the ability for the driver’s face to move side to side in the image, rather than the static image on a plastic drivers license, giving authorities a better view. This is demonstrated in the video below, courtesy of WhoTV:
This isn’t the Iowa Department of Transportation’s first foray into mobile apps, however. They already have five apps available on the Apple App Store and Google Play. All of the current apps, however, are just informational apps and don’t require the same type of security and maintenance that is going to be needed in the drivers license app. Many of their current apps look as though they haven’t been updated in years, with the “MyIowaDOT” app on Google Play looking like it hasn’t been updated since the days of Gingerbread (Android 2.3).
There are still other questions to be asked about the drivers license app. Since they mentioned use in airports, what about when uers leave Iowa, will it be recognized by authorities in other states? Also not mentioned was whether it could be used at bars to prove your age.
On a related note, one other concern would be that hackers could spoof fake drivers licenses within the app, but hopefully they have already thought about this. If the app is drawing the information from a particular server, cracks of the app could just switch the server, but I guess we’ll have to see going forward how they respond to possible security threats.