Illinois Drivers May Soon Go Digital

Show Your Digital License – No Need for Paper!

An unpublished bill has won unanimous approval in a panel of the Illinois State Capitol and is currently examined further to authorize citizens to keep and utilize a digital driver’s license. The suggestion would guarantee that the drivers would not be penalized for not having their physical license with them if they are able to access the digital form on an electronic device, such as their smartphone.

It is finally the right moment, and we are ecstatic to observe this occur globally and in diverse areas as digital licenses and IDs have become a regular part of life. Contradicting those who disbelieve, this does not mean that physical licenses would vanish overnight. Of course, not.

The reality is that telephones are increasingly being utilized as wallets, and for a lot of people, the sole purpose of regularly bringing along a wallet is to have their driver’s license. Nevertheless, there are several factors to contemplate – certain worth focusing on and some not.

“The amount of technology we are utilizing is excessive and it’s being abused,” remarked a random driver in the original report. “If everything goes digital, what happens when the system fails?” This is an important question that should be considered when evaluating the current state of technology. It’s essential that we find ways to create systems that are resilient to crashes and other potential disasters. Otherwise, we risk losing access to vital services and data.

“The reality is that everything is already digital. That chip on the back of a debit/credit card? Digital. Even if you get cash from a bank, the teller is using the digital information contained in the transaction. So that money is digital too. If ‘everything crashes’, driver’s licenses won’t be high up on the list of societal problems that arise.”

The Secretary of State’s office has addressed the valid concern of security when it comes to digital driver’s licenses. They have reassured users that these licenses are safe and secure, stating that: “They are encrypted and rely on state-of-the-art technology to protect the owner from fraud and identity theft.” This technology is designed to ensure that the information stored on the license is protected.

As anticipated, the Illinois Society of Chiefs of Police expressed wariness with the bill, citing anxiety over safety and infiltration. And this is probably something that we’ll see in many states going ahead. But it’s worth mentioning that Chief Officers also employ bank cards and digital ID requirements when flying; a scenario with serious parameters in regard to security. Additionally, obtaining a police uniform and duplicating a police badge has proven to be quite effortless.

Kenny Winslow, the executive director of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, declared: “We desire to provide safeguards for our officers and make sure that we are not held liable for any phones that could be dropped while we are trying to pass them out of a window, for instance.”

It should be noted, however, that staff at fast-food eateries and drive-through coffee establishments seem to cope just fine. Perhaps Winslow never went through a take-out window; we have, however, and it is not necessary for one’s phone to leave their comforting vehicle – be it a Civic or 3 Series – in such cases. Law enforcement agents could benefit from having a reliable holster to store their near-field communication devices.

Despite our enthusiasm for the idea of police officers equipped with scanners that operate like those at drive-thrus, in reality they would more likely be utilizing their organization-provided cell phones and a related app to examine licenses. This approach does have its advantages, such as not necessitating them to always have to go back to the patrol car to utilize its computer before returning the license to the motorist.


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