LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Arkansas drivers could soon be going digital with a bill that would lead the way to replace physical driver's licenses with digital ones. The Senate Bill moves forward to the House, a step closer to getting Arkansas ahead of the new age of technology.
Senate Bill 428 would authorize the use of a digital copy of an Arkansas driver’s license in addition to a physical card.
But, this is only a stepping stone. This bill would allow the state to be ready when or if we eventually switch to all digital licenses.
Carolyn Brown likes the idea of only having to get out her phone if she ever gets pulled over.
"Trying to find it and going through your purse, it would be already there on your phone, it's more convenient for that," said Brown.
Other drivers don’t think they’d want to swap out their physical license.
"All this new technology, I’m confused on it really,” admitted Calvin White.
Either way, the Office of Driver Services believes this is where they see it heading.
"We want to be ahead of the game in this particular case," said Walter Anger, Commissioner of Revenue with Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.Anger believes it’s only a matter of time before physical driver's licenses are replaced completely with digital ones. He added that if passed, the bill would allow the state to start investing and looking into programs to make digital licenses a reality.
“When the technology comes, and its already available, Arkansas can be ahead," said Anger.
Perhaps in the future instead of pulling out a physical license, this would allow drivers to pull up a license app straight from their phone.
“You pull it up and it’ll show the driver’s license. It’s really, really sophisticated like your heads turning in the picture," said Anger.
The license would be able to replace your physical one completely, meaning you could use it also to purchase alcohol, tobacco, and get into age restricted areas.
While this bill could make digital licenses available for drivers in the near future, they're useless for now since a physical license is still required.
“Until the law says we’re switching to digital driver’s license and officers can accept those, you'll still need your regular license," said Anger.
It will still be years until digital licenses potentially replace physical cards completely, but this paves the way for that process.