There may come a day when we no longer need wallets – in the traditional sense, anyway, and that day may be here sooner than we think. A new app will allow Iowa residents to access their driver’s licenses on their phones, allowing users to leave the traditional license at home.

The free app will display an image of an Iowa citizen’s license the same exact way it would appear on a plastic card, and could be used in the same exact way, for alcohol purchases, traffic stops, or in the airport.

Services like Apple Pay and Google Wallet are helping to shift our society away from the need to physically carry our identification and payment methods. Within a few years, a smartphone may have the potential to replace out wallets altogether. In fact, 30 states already allow drivers to show proof of insurance on their phones.

As for the ID app, it’s still in development. Testing is scheduled for 2015, and a full rollout is planned for 2016. Logistical concerns, such as a cracked or warped phone screen that would hamper the view of the ID could lead to the same tickets or fines one would receive if they didn’t have their driver’s license at all. In addition, there are concerns with the idea of police officers needing to take a person’s phone back to the cop car.

There is definitely an upside to housing your driver’s license on your phone, though. When you lose your wallet, you are out of luck. A thief could potentially have access to not only your ID, but credit and debit cards. According to, the driver’s license app is secure, requiring users to input a four-digit code (although that may be enhanced to fingerprint screening or facial recognition before the app is rolled out).

Here at Mountaineer Lincoln, we want to know what you think. Are you ready to ditch your wallet if technology exists that allows you to do so? Tell us why in the comments!

Driver's License App

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