Utahns may be able to get an electronic copy of their driver license as soon as 2021

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Car and bus taillights and headlights draw long red and white lights during evening traffic along State Street on Jan. 10.

The state Senate gave final passage Wednesday to a bill that will legalize electronic licenses and directs Utah’s Driver License Division to study the costs, process and vendors needed for producing and distributing digital replicas.

SB100 received unanimous support in the Senate with little debate. It already passed the House and now heads to the governor’s office for his signature.

“This bill will enable people, if they choose to, to carry their driver license on their phone in 2021,” explained Sen. Lincoln Fillmore, R-South Jordan, the bill’s sponsor.

His proposal, which passed 66-4 in the House on Tuesday, creates a two-year timeline for implementation, allowing for additional legislation in 2020 to address the costs or any concerns that may arise from the Driver License Division’s study of the issue and available technology.

The bill provides for a one-time appropriation of $200,000 to the Department of Public Safety to pay for the study.

Fillmore has said an electronic driver license wouldn’t replace the physical copy and that someone would still need the old version in order to get on an airplane. But with more Utahns using mobile-based payment systems that have replaced cash and credit cards, he said one of the only reason to carry a wallet now is to have a driver’s license.