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North Dakota House rejects bill for digital driver's licenses

A bill submitted to the North Dakota Legislature calls for a digital driver's license system. At least seven states, including Iowa, have already started establishing such systems. Troy Becker / Forum News Service photo illustration

BISMARCK — The North Dakota House rejected a bill allowing digital driver’s licenses Thursday, Feb. 7.

House Bill 1544 failed in a 67-23 vote. It would have allowed drivers to provide proof of “valid licensing” on a cellphone when they’re stopped by police or for other identification purposes.

The bill’s chief sponsor, Lisbon Republican Rep. Sebastian Ertelt, said it tried to address a lack of licensing services in rural areas. The bill carried an estimated $3.5 million two-year price tag for updating the state Department of Transportation's computer systems.

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

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