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Could penalties be placed on businesses who don’t accept LA Wallet App? Rep. Ted James weighs in

Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 10:36 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A lot of folks are using the LA Wallet, or Louisiana’s Digital Driver’s License.

Especially now that you’ve got to show your vaccination status to get into Tiger Stadium or go out in the City of New Orleans.

RELATED STORY:

Louisiana expands LA Wallet to include an individual’s COVID-19 vaccine verification

But some businesses are apparently still requiring folks to present a physical ID, to get into places, or maybe even order a drink.

“It’s a lot easier to just show someone the QR code, have someone scan that, show your phone,” said Matthew Adams, a Baton Rouge resident.

Lately, the app has exploded in popularity, with the ability to show that you’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19.

“I pulled out my phone and offered LA Wallet, and she said I’m sorry we need your actual ID,” said Adams.

But some local spots may not be on board with it just yet.

Matthew Adams says he tried to show his app at a local restaurant in Baton Rouge the other day but was denied.

“Again, it’s just very frustrating that you’re supposed to do this, you’re supposed to follow state law, and they’re not,” said Adams.

“So, usually, it’s not a matter of not wanting too, it’s just not knowing that they can accept LA Wallet as a form of identification,” said Rep. Ted James, (D) District 101.

Rep. James authored the original legislation back in 2019, authorizing the state to get a digital driver’s license.

“LA Wallet technically has the same rights and privileges that your ordinary driver’s license has. So, you go to a bar, they should accept. You go to Walmart, Walmart should accept it. However, there are no penalties,” said Rep. James.

Banks, casinos, and car dealerships are the only exceptions in Louisiana law.

Rep. James says he gets calls all the time from folks saying places are not accepting the digital app.

“I usually contact the agency or the entity or the store, to educate them on the law,” said James.

He says it’s a problem. So much so, he believes there should maybe be penalties in the future, for places that don’t accept the form of identification.

“The business community, our restaurants, our bars, need to recognize what has been passed by the Louisiana legislature. So, I know that we have always encouraged people still to maintain a physical driver’s license, but right now, you can do so much from your cell phone,” said Rep. James.

For more information on how to contact the Alcohol & Tobacco Control Board, click here: https://atc.louisiana.gov/

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