Lawmaker wants New Jersey in the driver’s seat on electronic licenses

 New Jersey Sen. Tom Kean Jr. wants the Garden State to lead the way with electronic driver's licenses. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

New Jersey Sen. Tom Kean Jr. wants the Garden State to lead the way with electronic driver's licenses. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

A New Jersey lawmaker wants the state to study the feasibility of electronic drivers’ licenses.

Many residents already use smartphones for banking and paying bills, said Senate Republican leader Tom Kean Jr., and New Jersey should be at the forefront of implementing electronic licenses.

 

“It’s important that we keep up with technology. Frequently people leave their homes with a phone more often than they do with their wallets,” he said Tuesday. “So this is a convenience factor for the drivers and the commuters.”

Issuing the alternative to traditional licenses could also reduce government costs, he said.

What’s more, he said, electronic licenses would be harder to duplicate, and authorities would be better able to detect phony licenses.

“If people want to opt into this approach, they wouldn’t need the paper license. They wouldn’t need to have the renewal process that takes up time and energy and is less efficient,” Kean said. “If you can do this online and have this as part of your phone, it’s a much more efficient way.”

The study Kean proposes would examine whether drivers would be charged for using an app to obtain an electronic license and how to secure personal information.

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