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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.

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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Statehouse Bureau Chief

Dan is Statehouse Bureau Chief for The Times. Since 2009, he's reported on Indiana government and politics — and how both impact the Region — from the state capital in Indianapolis. He originally is from Orland Park, Ill.