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Rotating driver's license photos evoke 'Harry Potter'

Next year, Iowa might just become the first state in the nation to provide digital, smartphone-based driver's licenses -- with very cool pictures.

Finally! A driver's license even Rita Skeeter would approve of. Video screenshot by Michael Franco/CNET

Remember the Daily Prophet newspaper from the "Harry Potter" movies? You know, the publication that has images that move around a bit, like GIFs embedded in paper? Well, that style of photo may soon be coming to digital driver's licenses in Iowa.

The Iowa Gazette reports that the department of transportation there is experimenting with licenses that could be stored on a smartphone and would feature a rotating headshot, just like in the articles penned by Potter's not-so-favorite journalist, Rita Skeeter.

The licenses would be optional and available in addition to a normal physical license you carry around in your wallet. Having a digital license would help out if you leave the house without your wallet or purse and get pulled over. At least if you get stopped for distracted driving, you could just tell the officer that you were looking at your phone to get your license ready for him.

The Gazette reports that the licenses could be available as early as next year and that Iowa could very well be the first state to offer them to drivers. There would be no cost for the digital version of the license.