St. Clair, Mo. lawmaker pushing for digital driver’s license option

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Missouri State Rep. Nate Tate (R-St. Clair) believes drivers should have an added option when they obtain or renew their driver’s license at the DMV.

The Missouri House Transportation Committee heard Tate's HB 2280 on Monday.

“It allows you to get your driver’s license on your mobile device,” Tate told the committee.

He said under the proposed legislation, the Missouri Department of Revenue would continue to issue the traditional driver’s license to everyone. He said anyone wanting to have the addition of a digital driver’s license on their phone could pay an additional $50 fee.

Tate believes digital IDs are the way of the future and said several other states have begun using the technology. A representative from the Missouri Department of Revenue testified in favor of the proposed legislation. Several committee members raised questions about security.

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

Tate said anyone wanting a digital driver’s license would go through the same renewal process as everyone else. They would then use an app to secure a digital version on their phone and use a fingerprint, facial recognition or a PIN to access the ID on their phone.

He believes most people are more likely to forget their wallet than their phone. He adds if a phone with a digital driver’s license was ever lost, the Department of Revenue could still protect that information. He said DOR could essentially lock the ID even if someone found the phone and knew its PIN.

There is an estimated cost of slightly more than $1 million to implement a digital driver’s license option but Tate believes some of that could be offset by those willing to pay the $50 fee to obtain one.

Read Tate’s proposed legislation here.

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