The LA Wallet app, which allows Louisiana drivers to present their license on their smartphone, is now free, but only until the end of May. The app normally requires a $5.99 fee to activate a license. OMV field administrator Paige Paxton says the offer is not just a 30-day free trial.

“They can download it for the life of their license and they don’t pay a fee as long as they download it within that month. And it’s still good for the length of their license,” said Paxton.

The decision to make LA Wallet available for free for a limited time comes after recent safety concerns involving rideshare programs like Uber and Lyft, as now riders can scan the app to confirm they are in the vehicle with the correct driver.

Paxton says the app is accepted at many locations in place of a traditional physical identification card.

“They are now allowed to accept it in bars and grocery stores for cigarettes and alcohol. A couple of banking organizations have contacted the vendor (app developer) and they want to start using it for some banking types of uses. Then the Secretary of State started using it for their voter polls for the last couple of elections,” said Paxton.

It’s not mandatory for anyone to accept LA Wallet.

Paxton says law enforcement will also accept the app as a valid ID, but she recommends drivers keep their physical ID on them, just in case their brush with the law intensifies.

“Now if the traffic stop becomes an arrest for something such as a DWI, then they will have to present their hard credentials to law enforcement at that time,” said Paxton.

Louisiana is the first state to allow the use of a smartphone app as a picture ID. Currently, TSA does not accept LA Wallet, but looking at how they will eventually be able to begin accepting the app.