OPINION | DRIVETIME MAHATMA: Plans for digital driver’s licenses are in the works


Dear Sir: Do you know if the state of Arkansas has any plans, and when, to enable licensed drivers to upload their license to their cellphone? I understand other states have this capability. -- Best Regards, Jim

Dear Jim: We reached out to the Department of Finance and Administration, and got an answer from Scott Hardin.

He said DF&A is evaluating digital driver's licenses and mobile credentialing in order to create a licensing program to best serve the citizens of this small, wonderful state.

Larry Walther, secretary of the department, has established a project team to move this work from research and development to planning and execution. The second phase begins with a procurement plan, finding a company that can provide the technology and safety required.

The goal is to make a digital license a reality as expeditiously and responsibly as possible, Hardin said.

"We do not have a definite timetable of how quickly we can achieve the goal," he said in an email. "However, we are working aggressively to produce this service prior to the first of 2025 (preferably much sooner)."

How coincidental is that date? The 30 Crossing project -- the new Interstate 30 bridge over the Arkansas River -- is scheduled to be finished in mid-2025.

This news strengthens our resolve to live so long. We shall implement Mark Twain's exercise program. Whenever Twain felt the urge to exercise, he would lie down until it passed.

Vanity plate on a Ford Explorer: ANTELOP.

Mr. Mahatma: Will you share, or could you ask the Arkansas Department of Transportation, what the landscaping plans are for the soon-to-be completed project on Cantrell Road/Arkansas 10? The construction destroyed much of the landscaping required by the city of LR when the properties abutting the highway were originally developed. -- Julie

Dear Julie: This is the Arkansas 10/Interstate 430 beast, of course. ArDot tells us there are plans for the laying of sod and the seeding of grass, part of the total cost of the $87.7 million project. It also says many property owners are discussing landscaping, but the agency has yet to see anything in writing.

Vanity plate seen on Interstate 630: IOULORD.

Dear Mahatma: Thank you for your opening in reply to Good Old Jack. I plan to plagiarize it, first in a note to my sister-in-law, to whom I've owed a thank-you note for over two months. -- George

Dear George: Your refer to a reader's question which took too long for us to answer.

Quoting us: "We would have answered this sooner, but your email fell into the abyss of our mind."

Use as needed. Is abyss a great word, or what?

Vanity plate on a Ford Expedition: SURFGRL. Or as the Beach Boys sang: Do you love me? Do you, surfer girl?

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