SB 5105, legislation to authorize digital driver’s licenses through a mobile phone application, will be heard TODAY, Jan. 23, at 4 p.m. in the Senate Transportation Committee.
Much like a smartphone can act as a digital credit card or boarding pass, digital driver’s licenses are an electronic version of state-issued identification. Arizona, Colorado, and Maryland already allow their residents to use digital driver’s licenses, while several other states have plans to do so. The Transportation Security Administration has begun accepting digital licenses at some airports.
The bill instructs the Department of Licensing to develop an implementation plan for creating a digital driver’s license application for Washington state residents. Use of the application would be optional and act as a companion to a physical ID card.
Quote from Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, sponsor of the bill:
“We’re using smartphones for more and more things these days. Some folks have their credit card information on their phone and use it to make purchases at stores and other places. Drivers can already keep their vehicle registration and proof of insurance on their phone. And during the COVID pandemic, I appreciated how easy it was to keep my vaccine information on my phone rather than having to carry around that paper card, which seemed perfectly designed to not fit in anyone’s wallet. Having the option of our driver’s licenses and our identification on our phones is the logical next step. I think many people would enjoy the convenience, and it wouldn’t change a thing for those who’d prefer to stick with their usual license.”
WHAT: Hearing on SB 5105, the digital driver’s license bill
WHEN: 4 p.m. TODAY, Jan. 23, 2023
WHERE: Senate Hearing Room 1 in the John A Cherberg Building, and on TVW here
Members of the media who are interested in learning more or conducting interviews on the subject should contact Alex Bond at email@example.com.