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Florida to consider statewide driver's license, insurance, registration database

Posted: 11:48 AM, Jan 16, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-16 12:48:54-05

Florida could soon join a growing list of states that have a state-run database to store important information like your driver’s license and proof of insurance, to be used not to replace the physical copies, but allow for a suitable backup and an extra tool for law enforcement.

During the New Year’s holiday, Anthony White had his phone stolen, which had some critical things with it.

“I had my ID and debit card in there,” White said, who lives part-time in Florida. “Right now, for me, it’s a hardship.”

The proposed statewide database, which has bi-partisan support from Republican State Rep. James Grant from Tampa and Democrat State Rep. Matt Willhite, who represents residents from Wellington to West Palm Beach (District 86), would alleviate some difficulty that comes with losing driver’s license.

“To allow state agencies, insurance companies, highway safety, FHP, police agencies to be able to go to this database in real-time and verify that you actually have insurance, driver’s license, those kinds things,” Willhite said.

We pitched the idea to technology expert David Parizek, from InfoStream .

“The security for any electronic equipment and information on a driver’s license or insurance is more secure than a paper product that they’re using now,” he said,

Overall, he’s for it, but like anything with technology, there’s an inherent concern, telling us “Anytime you’ve got equipment and a budget you’re going to have some problems getting everything secured, so that is a risk.”

“Of course, with everything, there needs to be precautions put in place, but I will tell you 13 other states are doing this,” Willhite said.

It would be in real-time, so a lapse in insurance could be quickly corrected right after a crash, “You could call from the scene right there and say call and say hey I didn’t realize I missed it, can I make a payment right now over the phone. They can do it, it’ll show up in the database and they can verify with the police officer and they’ll show you have insurance,” Willhite said.

This could even go as far as, say there’s an Alzheimer’s patient that an officer comes across wandering the streets, they could get their thumbprint right there, run it, and see where the family is and get them home safely.