Iowa Preps Smartphone Drivers Licence App

iowa dot licence appUS state Iowa is planning on creating the countrys first smartphone drivers licence app, aimed at co-existing with the traditional plastic card.

The free app is currently in development for iOS and Android phones, and while a 2015 release is hoped for, the Iowa Department for Transportation has not confirmed this due to “concerns about privacy” and security.

Among the issues faced by the app is the question of how police officers will interact with motorists smartphones when checking licences. According to Andrea Henry, a spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Transportation, the hope is that the app will function in such a way that the phone never has to leave the drivers hand, with police officers able to scan the licence electronically.

Hiding smartphone notifications from the view of police officers and preventing fakes are also being addressed during the design process, with one proposed feature being that the licence would move slightly at all times, so that it was distinguishable from a screenshot.

MorphoTrust USA, the company developing the app, has worked on drivers licence technology for over 50 years, and created the first photo drivers licence in 1958. According to Jenny Openshaw, vice president of the company, it is in discussions with over 20 other states about smartphone drivers licences.