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State lawmakers eye digital driver's license system

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A proposal to create a state digital identification program is moving forward at the Legislature.

House Bill 1686 would require the state Department of Transportation to establish and implement a pilot program issuing digital driver’s licenses and identification cards.

The bill would require the department to create protocols to ensure drivers are fit to drive — and upgrade infrastructure to accommodate a digital ID.

But there are questions regarding how it will interface with other state services such as automatic voter registration — which was approved last year.

"Automatic voter registration provides that there shall be an opportunity to register to vote when you get a driver’s license and identification card. And because this is moving online, or proposed to be moved online, we’re not sure how this would move or interface with AVR," said Sandy Ma is with Common Cause Hawaii.

"Further, according to the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, any vehicle transaction a person must be provided with the opportunity to register to vote," Ma said.

HB 1686 passed the House Committee on Transportation with amendments on Wednesday.

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