Cars and trucks can drive themselves. Colleagues are meeting in the same room, thousands of miles away. Refrigerators can order your groceries. And yet, with all of this technology at our fingertips, truck drivers must carry hard-copy CDL cards and permit books in case of inspection. STC has been reading the tea leaves, however, and sees the light at the end of the tunnel. Here’s an overview of what is happening on this front:

  • The private sector is already beginning to partner with various governments to bring mobile IDs to the forefront. Apple is leading this movement through partnerships with 12 states to provide mobile IDs through its Wallet App.
  • In April, the Department of Homeland Security announced it is planning on upcoming rules for digital mobile driver’s licenses. The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, which represents state DMVs and helps states licensing databases connect, has been working for several years with states and experts around the world to create Mobile Driver License Standards and is in the process of revising its Implementation Guidelines to keep pace with International Standard. It even produced this video regarding the future of mobile driver’s licenses.
  • The International Registration Plan (IRP) has been working to finds ways to transmit cab card information electronically.
  • The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, who represents CMV law enforcement, outlined their vision for the future of electronic inspections in this playful video. They getting work on it too. This fall they are expected to produce an inspection bulletin this fall providing guidance on how to handle electronic documents on roadside.
  • Three states recently announced that they’re ready to begin electronic Level III (driver) inspections that will allow roadside inspectors to receive carrier, driver and hours of service information before the truck arrives.

Though all these things point to one thing — a future of paperless law enforcement — it remains to be seen how this will be executed. If it is not done in a coordinated fashion, we may see a plethora of entities requiring some form of digital documents and credentials in the not-too-distant future, and we could end up with a new collection of mobile apps and passwords to remember.