Jeff Brandes backs "digital ID" bill - Florida Politics

Jeff Brandes backs “digital ID” bill

A member of the Legislature’s unofficial “disruptive technology” caucus has filed legislation that would allow for digital versions of state-issued driver, hunting, fishing and boating licenses.

State Sen. Jeff Brandes, a St. Petersburg Republican, filed the bill (SB 1430) on Wednesday. He’s a technology advocate who has sponsored legislation to allow driverless cars on Florida’s roads.

The measure also would create the position of “Chief Data Officer.”

That job would include overseeing “the transition of licenses and identification cards to digital proof of licenses and identification cards to be issued by state agencies, commissions and departments at the option of license holders and cardholders upon payment of a $5 fee,” the bill said.

The bill would appropriate $500,000 from the state’s general revenue fund for a pilot program.

The idea is to eventually allow Floridians to easily keep all their licenses in an app, similar to Apple Wallet, on their laptop computer, tablet or smartphone.

Brandes also was behind a law in 2013 to allow drivers to show “e-copy” proof of their motor-vehicle insurance when pulled over by police.

Under that law, if a state trooper or other officer drops and damages a device, paying for the damage falls on the driver: “The person who presents the device to the officer assumes liability for any resulting damage.”

That law also says giving your device to a law enforcement officer “does not constitute consent for the officer to access any information on the device other than the displayed proof of insurance.”

Brandes’ latest bill does not yet address those concerns.

Jim Rosica covers state government from Tallahassee for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at
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