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The Senate chamber in the Indiana Statehouse.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Senate agreed Tuesday to allow the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to develop a "mobile credential," as a supplement to the physical driver's license and state identification cards it issues to Hoosiers.

State Sen. Eddie Melton, D-Gary, sponsor of Senate Bill 182, said Indiana shouldn't be left behind as states across the country create mobile device applications that include a replica driver's license or ID.

"This is an opportunity for the BMV to work with the national board that's building the standards across many platforms," Melton said.

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If the BMV ultimately makes an electronic credential available, the legislation specifies that a police officer who stops a motorist cannot hold, seize or search the mobile device; the officer could only scan a barcode or other verification tool included on the credential.

The measure was approved 47-1. It now goes to the House, where it is co-sponsored by state Rep. Ragen Hatcher, D-Gary.

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Financial Affairs Reporter

Dan has reported on Indiana state government for The Times since 2009. He also covers casinos, campaigns and corruption.