LAFAYETTE — Apple is out with plans to take your drivers license from your wallet to your smart phone, in a software update coming later this year. It's a concept that's been around for several years in Louisiana with the "LA Wallet" app.
"I thought its more convenient because I always have my phone on me, usually. I don't always have my wallet on me," Bryan Orrego said.
Since LA Wallet was introduced in 2018, state lawmakers have taken it a step further, allowing business to use the digital license to verify age and identity. For users like Orrego, it hasn't always worked that way.
"At the bank, I was trying to cash a check, they told me they could only accept the hard version, they were in the process of accepting my digital version," Orrego said.
State Representative Ted James authored the legislation behind LA Wallet and the recent legislation to expand it.
"We passed this in the middle of the pandemic, so there may be businesses that do not know, so we just need to vamp up the education on it," LA Rep. Edwards C. Ted James said.
He says there are a few exceptions.
"The only exceptions are casinos because there are federal guidelines, and banking because there are some banking regulations that require you to use your physical license," he said.
According to the LA Wallet website, exceptions include casinos, racing commission, insurance providers, notaries, used car dealers, and federally insured depository institutions.
"Outside of that all businesses are mandated to accept LA Wallet," James added.
If users run into issues, they should contact the Alcohol, Tobacco, Commission.
"If I continue to hear about businesses are not, maybe we do need to look into penalties and a mechanism to report," James said.