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Police officers in Louisiana will now accept digital driver's licenses through your smartphone during traffic stops, according to an announcement by Governor John Bel Edwards.

The LA Wallet app allows users to pull up their driver's licenses on their screen instead of rifling through a wallet or purse. Police officers in the state were seeking a new method of checking IDs during traffic stops and the Louisiana State Police, Department of Public Safety as well as the Office of Motor Vehicles partnered with local software company Envoc to create the digital license.

"State Police requested a 'hands-off' and 'no-touch' procedure that would not require them to hold a driver's phone," Gov. Edwards told a local NBC affiliate after the app was created under Louisiana law of Act 625, sponsored by Baton Rouge Rep. Ted James.

"Rep. Ted James who authored the legislation that led to the creation of this App is to be commended for his work as well as the team of Louisianans who designed it."

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LA Wallet is the first of its kind in the United States. Although it is free to download, you need to pay a $5.99 fee to validate a driver's license or legal state ID. When the license expires, a new validation is needed to verify any new license you get. Any changes to your name and address can be added to the digital license without a fee.

Salon said other states such as California and Arizona are working on digital license plates for vehicles, but for now, LA Wallet will only work in Louisiana and can only be used for traffic stops.

The app cannot be used to purchase alcohol or get through the security line at an airport, but state legislators are waiting to see whether the app should be expanded to include these activities.

Government officials made sure to secure the app, and listed the many ways the app protects your information even if your phone is stolen.

"The safety of the app has been tested with all industry-standard security measures and with pin number protection it is protected from anyone accessing a user's license information. Also, it does not track nor ask to track the user's location at any time," said Office of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Karen St. Germain.

"If a user's phone is lost or stolen, the user can simply log in to online portal to unlink their license information from their mobile device."

The app is available on iOS and Android devices and comes as more companies switch to digital confirmations and eWallets.

"Most people never leave home without their smartphone and with this App, they will never be without their driver's license," said Gov. Edwards.

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Takeaways

  1. Residents of Louisiana will now be able to show their digital license on their smartphones to police during a traffic stop.
  2. The app cannot be used outside of Louisiana and cannot be used for anything other than traffic stops.

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Jonathan Greig is a Contributing Writer for Download.com. He's a freelance journalist based in New York City. He recently returned to the United States after reporting from South Africa, Jordan, and Cambodia since 2013.