Louisiana first in nation with digital driver's license

Like George Jetson of carton fame--- we may soon be driving flying cars.So, we'll need a driver's license to m...

Posted: Jul 24, 2018 1:20 PM
Updated: Jul 24, 2018 1:20 PM

Like George Jetson of carton fame--- we may soon be driving flying cars.

So, we'll need a driver's license to match; like the one created by L-A Wallet-the nation's first digital driver's license.

Keeping up with the digital world can be touch, but a group in south Louisiana has developed a "first in the nation innovation" that could mean you'll never forget your driver's license again.

"L-A Wallet is a United States first," said Calvin Fabre, the president of Envoc Software, "Louisiana is the first state to pass and implement a digital driver's license acceptable to law enforcement."

Thanks to stringent requirements from Apple and Google, getting approval for the digital driver's license app was like pulling teeth: appropriate, since Baton Rouge Dentist Dr. Chad Lacour-developed the idea.

"I read an article about Turbo Tax creating an app for filing your returns," Lacour said, "and asked, what else could you develop something like this for; and I thought of driver's licenses."

There are various online steps you need to follow to create your digital driver's license-they can be found at lawallet.com.

Among the steps: creating a four-digit PIN number. Fabre explained why that was critical.

"There were people skeptical about this; but once they downloaded it and saw it's behind a secure user I-D password and a four-digit PIN-they felt much more confident."

But not everybody.

"I don't think I need it," said Shreveport's Dollie Davis, "some people might like it-I don't. It's just another thing for my phone-and I don't use a lot my phone."

On the other hand-Lisa Ducote is keeping an open mind.

"I think with the digital-it's a good thing." Ducote said.

Lacour believes Lisa hit on something important.

"A phone is something you keep on you all the time," said Lacour, "it's something, that if you leave it-you will turn around to go get."

In this digital age-you might forget something else-but if you've got your phone-you have your license.

But-Hello Dollie!

"I would leave my phone before I left my wallet." Davis said.

Fabre says he has received the green light from police.

"Law enforcement will be fine with it for a traffic stop," Fabre said, "in fact the app will phone home every time you use it, back to the DMV-to make sure your license is not suspended, canceled, or expired."

A key in the application process-enter your name exactly as it appears on your physical driver's license; then enter the license number itself-both are critical for digital security.

"The technology is challenging," Fabre said, "because we very much believe in the Fourth Amendment-staying secure in everything you have-especially your identity."

That might create hesitation for some people.

"If your phone were to be stolen," said Ducote, "your information is all on there."

Not to worry, Fabre says.

"When you log out of the device, it completely wipes away any image or semblance of the license."

Once you've purchased your digital driver's license on the app-all license information and images will be securely retrieved from the DMV; and you are ready to go.

"We are very proud," said Lacour, "that people who live and work in Louisiana, can claim to have developed the country's first digital driver's license. Maybe the first in the world-but definitely the first in the country."

"I would give it a try," said Ducote, "I think it's kind of interesting."

There are lots of other uses for L-A Wallet-like concealed carry permits and medical I-D's. The guys are working on those things.

They did point out that dealing with Apple and Google was extremely difficult; that passing all their presentation and security requirements was tough-and at times, frustrating.

But all of that should help calm the fears of skeptics even further.

It's easy to apply for your digital driver's license; just go to lawallet.com. The app is free to download-but it costs $5.99 to activate your digital license through the Apple Store.

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