Iowa Mobile ID is available for smartphones: Does it replace your driver's license?

The Iowa Department of Transportation announced that Iowa Mobile ID is now available in the Apple App Store and Google Play, allowing Iowans to keep a digital version of their license or ID on their smartphone.

"I’m so proud of the DOT and the Department of Revenue’s Alcoholic Beverages Division working together on an innovative solution that provides convenience and added security for Iowans as they use their IDs for a variety of purposes,” said Gov. Kim Reynolds in an Iowa DOT news release.

Does Iowa's Mobile ID app replace my driver's license?

The Iowa Mobile ID app is free and optional for all Iowans to download. While the app keeps a digital version of an Iowa-issued driver's license or ID, it does not replace the physical card. All Iowans should still carry their physical card.

According to Iowa DOT, ensuring that businesses understand their options available to begin accepting mobile identification is key to the adoption of this technology.

How does Iowa Mobile ID work?

To get started, download the app on your phone. Next, you will scan your physical driver's license, take a selfie to verify your identity, before finally setting up app security, such as a passcode.

After set up, Iowa's Mobile ID uses a QR code to create a contactless and more secure way to verify your identity.

The app also allows Iowans to be in more control of their information, as users have to approve requests for transactions before any information is shared.

Don't drive without your physical driver's license — cops may not be able to accept Mobile ID

Iowa law still requires drivers to carry a physical driver's license.

If you get pulled over while driving in Des Moines, officers will use "the tools available to us, and a healthy dose of common sense, when confirming whether or not a person is licensed to drive in the state of Iowa," said Sgt. Paul Parizek, a spokesperson for the Des Moines Police Department.

Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Alex Dinkla said the Iowa DOT is releasing the program in phases, and many law enforcement agencies, including the state patrol, are not equipped to accept mobile identification at this time.

Where can I use Iowa Mobile ID instead of my physical driver's license?

Iowa Mobile ID is accepted as a valid form of identification at various businesses throughout the state. Businesses can use the Iowa ABD Age to Purchase App from the Alcoholic Beverages Division of the Iowa Department of Revenue.

It can also be used at TSA PreCheck at the Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and other participating airports.

Iowa DOT said Iowans are encouraged to look for the “Iowa Mobile ID” logo on doors or at the point of sale in businesses across the state.

Businesses that have let the Iowa DOT know they accept mobile ID are also listed on the Iowa Mobile ID website. As of Wednesday afternoon, 23 businesses statewide were listed including seven bars or restaurants and more than a dozen vape shops.

Businesses interested in learning how to accept Iowa mobile ID can also visit the website to get information about their options.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been updated to more accurately describe the Des Moines Police Department's approach to Mobile ID.

Victoria Reyna-Rodriguez is a general assignment reporter for the Register. Reach her at or follow her on Twitter @VictoriaReynaR.

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Iowa Mobile ID can now be used in as a form of identification