Iowa poised to become the first state to let residents use smartphones as driver's licenses

By Shawn Knight · 24 replies
Dec 11, 2014
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  1. Iowa residents will soon be able to use their smartphone as their driver's license. Starting next year, the Iowa Department of Transportation will give customers the option of receiving newly issued driver's licenses through a mobile app at no extra...

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  2. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,961   +2,520

    So, the complete failure of the educational system has come to the corn belt at last?

    That's because I really want a driver's license online, with the attendant needs for a smartphone and wireless internet connection?

    I know, I know, it's an insurmountable obstacle, reaching into one's back pocket to pull out that big heavy wallet , and then pulling that big, heavy laminated card out of it.

    If the Iowa legislature had any sense, they'd jack up the price of a driver's license renewal, to the same price as the ticket for talking on the cell phone while driving...!:mad:
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,321   +1,970

    I am more curious to know if you hand the officer your phone with the drivers license on it, does that then constitute "surrender" of the phone to the police officer, thus allowing him to search through it? And of course, if he finds a picture of your wife holding your nude baby girl, can you be arrested for pandering kiddy porn? This could be one heck if revilation to the grandfather who's proud son/daughter forwarded him that picture of their baby on the bearskin (yes, I know it's out of date, but some still do it!)
  4. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    This was my immediate thought. I've been pulled over twice (once for tags, once for being incredibly awesome), and in each instance the officer briefly returned to his cruiser with my license. How exactly does a smartphone ID prevent said officer of the law from copying information from the device once he returns to his cruiser?

    Given recent events, it would seem prudent to stick with the plastic.
  5. RzmmDX

    RzmmDX TS Guru Posts: 313   +67

    That is a good point but it turns out that they do need a warrant to legally search through your phone. Unless someone coincidentally sends you a text about your drug trade then the cops would have probable cause to arrest you and then get a search warrant to search your phone.

    I forgot how Federal Laws don't really translate well into State Laws, so... who knows?

    Still, why do you need an app for this? Why can't I show them a photo of my ID since border patrol has no problems looking at a passport copy?
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,713   +3,688

    Whats stopping this idea from being transmitted to the officer. There is no need in relinquishing your device, if the requested details can be shared wirelessly.
  7. Bad idea. I recently read that in some areas smartphones currently account for 90% of thefts. That means that criminals will have not only your phone but also your name, address, dob, dl number, and in some states ss number all in one place. Personally, I'd rather keep my current dl in my wallet as wallets seem to be far less valuable to thieves these days...
  8. The app is said to be “highly secure”...

    Yeah, that's what Target said, and Home Depot, and Sony, and Yahoo, and Adobe, and Global Payment Systems, and... well, you know. But the citizens of Iowa can rest assured that their state's government computers won't be hacked. Yesiree!
  9. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,713   +3,688

    You are suffering under the delusion that all states don't already store these details in their driver license database. Yesiree!

    The only difference here is how people choose to show proof of their identity. The identity records will still be stored the same way they have been the last 20 plus years.
  10. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,886   +1,222

    I would imagine opening the license app would require a PIN to exit it also. And your lock screen prevent access if the phone is restarted. Not a big problem to get around.

    If you're not comfortable letting an officer hold your phone for a while, then this app isn't for you.

    We're still avoiding the biggest problem here... .what are you going to do with all that free time while the officer writes you a ticket if you don't have your phone?! No selfie with the cop car in the background, no real-time status updates commenting on Officer Fleckins! Priorities, folks!
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  11. drjekelmrhyde

    drjekelmrhyde TS Addict Posts: 249   +63

    16 year old gets nudes from 15 year old girl= CP
  12. Why, not make id data stored in nfc chip? touch the devices and all data on officers terminal
  13. Misagt

    Misagt TS Addict Posts: 150   +88

    "The app is said to be “highly secure” as customers will need to use a PIN code to access it."

    I have to say I laughed at that. Nothing about this seems like a good idea in anyway... Well I suppose the rest of us will get to learn from what I'm guessing with be a very failed program
  14. Pinkie Pie

    Pinkie Pie TS Booster Posts: 70   +30

    Aside from various other problems, that would be so easy to fake. Just photoshop your picture and enter in fake details and show it to the officer (or the sales clerk at the liquor store.) What a stupid idea.
  15. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,713   +3,688

    Which is why it will likely be a link(the driver license number) to the persons details stored within the state's driver license database.

    Besides if a person is facing serious charges, do you honestly think the officer would not verify the information?
  16. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    I like that idea. You can transmit a copy of your licence & insurance to the cop with the lights & siren in your rearview mirror and in return he can can transmit a citation (fine) to you for whatever he was pulling you over for in the 1st place including a further charge of using a mobile device without the aid of a hands free kit. All done on the fly. Nice. No stopping, arguing or holding up other traffic. And most importantly, no gunplay thereby reducing the likelihood of a shootout.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2014
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  17. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,182   +469

    I think the officer will have to see your face in person to match it with the license before issuing any citation. I'm sure you can figure out why.
  18. I still don't get why they can't just pull up your license when they run your plates. They've got the database access, why do we still need to carry ID?
  19. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,961   +2,520

    Why screw around with loss of privacy in dribs and drabs. It would be better to surrender any chance of ever having any, by being micro-chipped at birth. The SPCA does this now, when you adopt a pet from the pound.

    So, you earn drivers license, what happens then? All you'll need is a "firmware update", provided by your friendly, local, above your neighborhood, NSA satellite.
  20. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,713   +3,688

    That would be a simple fix, if ONLY every car had one driver.
  21. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264


    Easily defeated with passive jamming!
  22. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,182   +469

    And that would assume that everyone actually has a drivers license. They don't. That also presumes the car in question isn't from another state. There are at least some states police aren't interconnected to. If the car or plates are stolen but not yet reported as stolen, looking them up won't get you the right driver. I'm sure others can think of more reasons.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  23. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,961   +2,520

    Why didn't you wait until Christmas to show me what you bought me? Now my holiday is ruined.

    I would have to mail you a check if I wanted the bulletproof option, wouldn't I?

    I hope you appreciate how hard I worked to get all those 1st person pronouns into that post
  24. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    I'm very sorry dear sir/madam, but at this time we are unable to accept payment by check. Payment must be by Western Union to Mr. Jones at our company headquarters/convenience store in downtown Abuja.
    I, and the rest of us here recognise the effort. We applaud you.
  25. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,961   +2,520

    I should make out the cashier's check to "Prince ?????" :confused:

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