Louisiana could be first in the country to offer electronic driver’s license


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BATON ROUGE, La. (WGNO) – Did you lose your driver’s license again? There might be an app for that soon, if lawmakers in Louisiana approve a bill that would authorize an electronic app to store a copy of your Louisiana driver’s license.

Currently, drivers must carry hard copies of their licenses when driving. The measure by state Rep. Ted James, a Baton Rouge Democrat, would allow the digital driver’s license to be substituted for the hard copy when law enforcement asks to see it.

The app would cost $3-$5 and would cost the same to renew the digital license.

The new digital documents would also meet the federal government’s “Read ID” standards for travel. Current Louisiana drivers’ licenses do not meet those standards.

Louisiana would be the first state in the country to authorize the electronic licenses, although The Advocate reports that other states are testing the digital licenses through pilot programs.

Office of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Karen St. Germain told The Advocate that drivers likely would still need hard copies of their licenses for most other services. It would be up to businesses to decide whether they’ll accept electronic licenses for tobacco, alcohol and other purchases.

The House Transportation Committee approved the bill. It now heads to the full House.

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