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Digital app allows Louisiana residents to show driver's license

Louisiana's first digital driver's license app

Monroe, La. (KTVE) - The Louisiana wallet app is now available for download. It displays a picture of your license on your cell phone in case you forgot your wallet at home. 

Now, as long as you have your phone you have your driver's license. 

Some residents believe it's a useful tool.

"I can see where it'd be useful. I've been stopped by a police officer and not having proof of insurance I literally pulled it up right there on my phone and I think if it's something similar like that it could be a good idea", says James Snell.

"It's a standard that's being developed across the United States", says Karen St. Germain, Commissioner of the Officer of Motor Vehicles (OMV). She says she expects more states to develop digital driver's license apps.

LA Wallet was created under Louisiana law of Act 625 backed by Baton Rouge Representative Ted James. The digital app was a joint effort between Louisiana State Police, Department of Public Safety, and the OMV, but also the people of Louisiana. 

The entire development team at Envoc is made up of graduates of Louisiana universities.

St. Germain says the app is all about providing convenience to state residents.

"It takes but a second to grab your phone most of the time you're searching for your wallet with your driver's license this is customer friendly and an option if you choose it."

The app itself is free to download, but an in-app purchase of $5.99 activates the license or ID for legal acceptance. The digital license is valid for the life of the user's license issuance. Every time you renew your license you would be required to purchase a new digital license through LA Wallet as well. 

"I leave my license at home all the time in my pants pocket,", says Reginald Jackson. He believes the app will be a success. 

Others worry about security.

"I think it's a bad idea and I wouldn't want my information available that way. People can hack into anything", says resident Annie Jones. 

OMV Commissioner St. Germain says the office  comfortable with the security aspect, and is in talks with agencies regarding expanding the use of the app. 

"We have already spoken to the ATC commissioner Juana Lombard and they are developing their policy to be able to send out to their vendors."

Monroe tobacco shop owner Cassie Pulliam, says she's not prepared to changed how she checks customers' IDs.

"The ATC basically would have to send me notification that yes this is allowed until we get notification from them I still require the actual ID in my hand."

The TSA says they "currently do not accept digital driver's licenses as valid identification at the airport checkpoint. However, we are working with several states to ensure all digital driver's licenses are compliant with REAL ID. When the Department of Homeland Security certifies that a state's digital licenses meet REAL ID standards, TSA will accept them at the security checkpoint."

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