State lawmakers are advancing a proposed bill that strikes down the concept of a mandatory vaccine passport for Louisiana residents.

A vaccine passport would be a nationwide qualification for travel and other activities. It's a pass or passport (paper or digital) that shows the person in question has been fully vaccinated for COVID-19. It would give vaccinated individuals access to take part in activities like flying, boarding cruise ships, attending concerts, etc.

Republican Rep. Kathy Edmonston of Gonzales has authored the new bill and it takes aim at banning the Louisiana Office of Motor Vesicles from mandating persons be vaccinated to receive a state driver's license and to include the person's vaccination information on their driver's license. The House Transportation Committee is backing the proposal and it's being sent to the full House for debate.

This bill also covers all vaccinations, not just coronavirus. Edmonston said during a press conference:

Vaccination records are unrelated to driving privileges. This bill keeps the driver’s license for driving purposes only.

Backers of the bill are hoping to get in front of the concept of a vaccine passport as it is being discussed in other parts of the country. They wanted to ensure such requirements wouldn't be enacted in Louisiana.

Staci Hoyt, Deputy Commissioner with the Office of Motor Vehicles, stated the agency can't add requirements or information on state-issued IDs or driver's licenses unless they is approved by Louisiana lawmakers.

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