BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A new app set to launch by early May will allow Louisiana drivers to store a valid digital copy of their driver's license on their smartphone, according to the Baton Rouge Business Report.
La Wallet - or Louisiana digital driver's license - will be available statewide, thanks to a public-private partnership and a law amended during the 2016 legislative session.
Act 625 by Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge, authorizes Louisiana drivers to carry a digitized copy of their license provided by the Office of Motor Vehicles as an alternative to a physical license.
"As we move to more digital things, I suspect store owners will use it," said James. "I suspect at some point casinos and bars once they become comfortable with it."
Envoc produced the app and is working in partnership with OMV and State Police. The app, priced at $5.99, will be available for iOS and Android devices, according to Envoc President Calvin Fabre.
"I think it's habit at least for me to forget certain documents every now and then, whether you lose your keys, a license or anything else," said Chad LaCour, DDS and Envoc partner. "But in today's times, nobody forgets their cell phone."
Several years ago, LaCour says he began wondering if there was a way to put your driver's license in a digital format that would be accepted on traffic stops. He took his idea to president and founder of Envoc, a digital marketing and software development firm.
"I said, 'What is a dentist doing in my office after hours?'" Fabre recalled. "Shouldn't he be working on someone and what does he know about technology?"
"As I was speaking to Calvin, he took this big idea and dissected it into about 40 or 50 different boxes," LaCour added.
The rest is about to become history. Fabre said the app was built so that law enforcement officers will never have to take your phone.
The law also prohibits cops from issuing a ticket during traffic stops or checkpoints to anyone who presents a digital license in lieu of a physical copy.
The arrival of La Wallet doesn't mean Louisiana drivers should toss their physical licenses just yet. Drivers, at least for now, must still carry a hard copy. Though state police is already on board with adopting the digital license as a valid ID, other involved state agencies are still working to adopt the digital system.
Another important note: A digital license won't work when it comes to boarding an aircraft.