INDIANAPOLIS — Welcome to the future. Or at least the Indiana General Assembly's version of preparing for what's to come.

Under bills signed into law recently by Gov. Eric Holcomb, Hoosiers will have access to driver's licenses through cellphones, buildings may be equipped with devices for better hearing and deceased bodies could be identified by coroners through surgical implants.

Mobile credentials

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles has been directed to develop a system of mobile credentials by July 1, 2021.

Under legislation authored by Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, the BMV will have the authority to issue mobile credentials —a driver's license, a learner's permit or an identification card. But a commercial driver's license won't be allowed via mobile app.

Licensed drivers will be able to hold both a physical card and a mobile credential.

If you're stopped by flashing red lights, police officers will not be allowed, under the law, to handle your telecommunications device.

Earlier in the session, similar credentials were offered through Senate Bill 182, authored by Sen. Eddie Melton, D-Gary.

"Mobile drivers' licenses are not only more convenient for Hoosiers, but as we move into a forever-growing digital age, we must utilize all the tools that are available to us," Melton said. "We have also taken into consideration all of the important safety measures needed for this kind of technology."

Indiana will join 14 other states that allow residents to store a copy of their driver's license on their phones.

"We don't want to replace the physical driver's license, but instead have the mobile version supplement the hard-copy version," Melton said.

IDs by medical implants

When a coroner in Indiana conducts an autopsy, the body is officially identified through dental records, DNA, fingerprints or by visual identification.

Add a fifth category: medical implants.

"These have unique identifying serial numbers and a manufacturer's name engraved on them. They are extremely heat resistant so they survive not only fires but also any other type of mishap," former Vigo County Coroner Roland Kohr said.

"It takes me about three minutes to dial an 800 number, identify myself as a medical examiner, give them a serial number and be told not only who the person is but who the physician was that implanted it, where it was done and the day it was implanted," Kohr explained.

Other devices have similar identifiers that could help coroners shorten the wait time to have loved ones released for final disposition. Rep. Alan Morrison, R-Brazil, authored the legislation.

The system might have helped when four Taylor University students were killed in a 2008 crash, he said. The identity of one survivor was mixed up for several weeks with that of a deceased student.

Bicycles, scooters still not cars

If you're thinking of greening up and buying an electric bicycle, you need to follow the rules of bike riding not car driving. Wear a helmet. No driving license is needed.

Speaking of movement by electricity, a bill by Rep. Sean Eberhart, R-Shelbyville, states that an electric foot scooter is not a motor vehicle, giving a rider all the rights and duties of a person operating a bicycle.

Nevertheless, local authorities can decide where scooters can operate, where they can park (as long as they provide alternative parking spots) and even require registration and licensing.

Buildings made for better hearing

As Hoosier Baby Boomers age, there might be a growing need for hearing aids.

Telecoils are small receivers inside hearing aids with a looping system that picks up signals and converts electromagnetic fields into sound.

They are important for those with impaired hearing and used in nearly all cochlear implants.

A bill by Rep. Doug Miller, R-Elkhart, requires anyone performing new construction or a project involving major renovation of an existing public address system to consider installing the telecoil system. They have to solicit at least one bid for telecoil installation.

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