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iowa digital license

Digital driver’s licenses, such as now set up in Iowa, could be studied for use in Texas under a bipartisan measure being considered by the Texas Legislature.

Photograph By DIGITALTRENDS.COM

Texans could one day soon have the option of carrying virtual version’s of their driver’s license on their smartphone under legislation by Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, that is making its way through the state legislature. His proposal, originally contained in his House Bill 640, was attached as an amendment to Senate Bill 1934 on Monday, May 25. An amendment is a proposed change – either by adding new language and/or deleting existing language – to a bill or resolution as it moves through the legislative process. Canales was successful in adding the entire text of HB 640 to the language of Senate Bill 1934, by Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, which deals with changing requirements for driver’s licenses, personal ID information. “Recently enacted legislation allowed drivers to show proof of auto insurance on their smartphones and reports indicate that other states have passed similar laws,” Canales said of his HB 640. “In an effort to continue this digital trend, my legislation requires the Texas Department of Public Safety to conduct a study concerning the use of a digital image for identification and proof of licensure purposes.” Now, through SB 1934, which is awaiting a final vote by the House of Representatives, Canales’ idea would result in Texas developing a system where such digital driver licenses could become a reality in Texas within the next few years. “Other major states are looking at this option, and my amendment to SB 1934 would give us until the fall of 2016 to come up with the pros and cons, anticipate and fix any shortcomings, and protect the privacy of individuals who prefer to have digital versions of their driver license, rather than the plastic type,” said Canales. Iowa and Delaware are the first two states to set up such a system, while this spring, as of March 10, 2015, other states are also looking at similar measures, including Arizona, California, Illinois, Kentucky, New Jersey, North Dakota, and Tennessee. Under Canales’ amendment to SB 1934: The DPS would be required to conduct a study determining the feasibility of establishing a system to allow a person to use a digital image displayed on an electronic device for identification purposes or to prove that the person has a driver’s license; The DPS would evaluate risks to personal information security that such a system might create; The DPS would survey and evaluate digital identification and proof of licensure policies in other states; and The DPS would be required, not later than September 1, 2016, to submit a detailed report of its findings and recommendations to the legislature.

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Digital driver’s license on cell phone, with privacy protections, could be coming to Texas in next few years through Rep. Canales’ legislation

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

Texans could one day soon have the option of carrying virtual version’s of their driver’s license on their smartphone under legislation by Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, that is making its way through the state legislature.

His proposal, originally contained in his House Bill 640, was attached as an amendment to Senate Bill 1934 on Monday, May 25.

An amendment is a proposed change – either by adding new language and/or deleting existing language – to a bill or resolution as it moves through the legislative process.

Canales was successful in adding the entire text of HB 640 to the language of Senate Bill 1934, by Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, which deals with changing requirements for driver’s licenses, personal ID information.

“Recently enacted legislation allowed drivers to show proof of auto insurance on their smartphones and reports indicate that other states have passed similar laws,” Canales said of his HB 640. “In an effort to continue this digital trend, my legislation requires the Texas Department of Public Safety to conduct a study concerning the use of a digital image for identification and proof of licensure purposes.”

Now, through SB 1934, which is awaiting a final vote by the House of Representatives, Canales’ idea would result in Texas developing a system where such digital driver licenses could become a reality in Texas within the next few years.

“Other major states are looking at this option, and my amendment to SB 1934 would give us until the fall of 2016 to come up with the pros and cons, anticipate and fix any shortcomings, and protect the privacy of individuals who prefer to have digital versions of their driver license, rather than the plastic type,” said Canales.

Iowa and Delaware are the first two states to set up such a system, while this spring, as of March 10, 2015, other states are also looking at similar measures, including Arizona, California, Illinois, Kentucky, New Jersey, North Dakota, and Tennessee.

Under Canales’ amendment to SB 1934:

• The DPS would be required to conduct a study determining the feasibility of establishing a system to allow a person to use a digital image displayed on an electronic device for identification purposes or to prove that the person has a driver’s license;

• The DPS would evaluate risks to personal information security that such a system might create;

• The DPS would survey and evaluate digital identification and proof of licensure policies in other states; and

• The DPS would be required, not later than September 1, 2016, to submit a detailed report of its findings and recommendations to the legislature.

VIRTUAL DRIVER’S LICENSE ACTION IN OTHER STATES

Other states besides Texas are considering similar mobile/digital ID systems , according to Canales.

Some direct the appropriate state agency to develop a plan; others direct the agency to study the feasibility of such a system.

This list is up-to-date as of March 10, 2015:

Tennessee—The Legislature is considering a bill that authorizes the Department of Safety to develop a “secure and uniform” system to be known as the “electronic driver’s license system.” The legislation includes language that encourages public/private sector partnership to allow the state agency to accept grants/donations to pay expenses incurred in development of the system), there is no “study” aspect associated. Rather, the agency is given the authority to create a system.

California—The Legislature is considering a bill that authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles to develop a mobile application to access a digital ID. This bill specifies that a PIN (personal information number) is required to obtain access to their digital DL or state-issued ID.

Arizona—The Legislature is considering SB 1237 that directs the AZDOT to develop, pilot or implement virtual or electronic credentials, records, procedures, processes and systems as the director deems necessary to carry out the functions and duties of the department.

Delaware—The Legislature PASSED a resolution that directs the Division of Motor Vehicles to study the issuance of optional driver’s licenses to Delaware motorists. Delaware and Iowa appear to be in competition to create the first digital ID program. However, the Delaware bill specifically mentions the Iowa plan to experiment with digital ID and it also states that “Iowa and Delaware use the same driver’s license vendor.”

Kentucky—The Legislature is considering a resolution that directs the Transportation Cabinet to study the feasibility of a system to allow operators to “display their license on a portable device.” If passed, the study is due to the Legislature on October 31, 2015.

Texas—The Legislature is considering a bill that directs the Texas Department of Public Safety to study the feasibility of establishing a system to allow digital IDs. The report would be due September 1, 2016. The Texas legislature meets every other (odd) year so it would consider the study’s findings in 2017;

Illinois —The Legislature is considering a resolution that directs the Legislature to create an Electronic Driver’s License Task Force to study the feasibility of a digital/mobile DL and report its findings by December 31, 2015.

New Jersey—The Legislature is considering a bill that directs the Motor Vehicle Commission and the Office of Information Technology to submit to the Governor and the Legislature a report concerning the feasibility of electronic driver’s licenses. There is no deadline for the submittal of the report.

North Dakota—The Legislature is considering a resolution that directs the Legislative Management to study issues related to authorizing and issuing digital driver’s licenses. This resolution is similar to others. It does not mention the Iowa system and the study is to be presented to the next ND Legislature (2016).

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Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, represents House District 40 in Hidalgo County. HD 4o includes portions or all of Edinburg, Elsa, Faysville, La Blanca, Linn, Lópezville, McAllen, Pharr, San Carlos and Weslaco. He may be reached at his House District Office in Edinburg at (956) 383-0860 or at the Capitol at (512) 463-0426.

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