A bill awaiting final approval in the New Jersey Assembly would require the Motor Vehicle Commission to study the feasibility of electronic driver’s licenses.
Sen. Tom Kean said the digital license would be an option for New Jersey drivers and could save them money.
“You’re more than likely to leave the house with a phone than you are with your wallet. Right now, you get penalized a huge amount of money for not having your driver’s license on you,” said Kean, R-Union. “So you’d have both efficiency, savings to the driver.”
An electronic license would improve safety for law enforcement officers during traffic stops, said Assemblyman Rob Dancer, R-Ocean.
“Without getting out of their police vehicle, they will be able to have a device, an app, that will be able to pick up the digital driver’s license on the individual at the car before they have to approach the car,” he said.
And a digital license could allow fast two-way-communication between drivers and the state, testified Jamie Gagnon of Morpho Trust USA that provides driver’s licenses in 42 states including New Jersey.
“Say you weren’t sure about being an organ donor when you got your license, but then you said it’s a good idea,” he said. “You could do that, and they could push that endorsement to your mobile driver’s license without having to go in.
“Maybe the state could send out, say they there’s going to be a big snowstorm coming to everyone with a mobile driver’s license.”
A pilot program is testing electronic licenses in Iowa, and Gagnon said encryption and other security measures will prevent fraud and abuse.