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Lawmakers took a first step Tuesday toward possibly making smartphones the driver license of the future.

The House Transportation Committee unanimously endorsed HB227, and sent it to the full House, to require the Utah Driver License Division to conduct a feasibility study on the matter.

Its sponsor, Rep. Craig Hall, R-West Valley City, said several states are looking at ways of electronically putting driver licenses on smartphones instead of — or in addition to — traditional plastic-card licenses.

He said he had thought of ordering their creation this year for drivers who want that option, but technology does not quite yet allow that. So his bill calls for a year of study on how to overcome problems.

Advantages he sees includes convenience, more easily updating such information as new addresses, and perhaps actually being more secure than plastic cards by requiring a PIN or biometrics (such as a fingerprint) for use.

He also sees many challenges, including ensuring that other states would recognize electronic licenses, preventing counterfeiting and securing personal information on phones.

— Lee Davidson