NY launches Mobile ID digital driver’s licenses

Goshen. New Yorkers can now have a digital version of their state-issued ID on their smartphones.

| 14 Jun 2024 | 02:31

On June 11, New York State rolled out its new Mobile ID program through the state Department of Motor Vehicles. New Yorkers can now have a “highly secure” digital version of a state-issued driver’s license, learner’s permit or ID on a smartphone, available on IOS and Android platforms through Google Play or the App Store.

“We’re thrilled to give New Yorkers access to this cutting-edge technology which provides convenience and added security for Mobile ID users and those who accept it,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “Not only will New Yorkers be able to quickly display their IDs, but they will have control over the personal information they share.”

According to Hochul’s announcement, through a partnership with the Transportation Security Administration, the new Mobile ID (MiD) will be accepted at several TSA security checkpoints at participating airports across the country, including those at LaGuardia and JFK.

To obtain the mobile ID, residents must: 1) download the New York MiD app from the App Store or through Google Play, 2) register the phone number of the device the Mobile ID will be on (your mobile ID can only be on one device at a time), 3) take a picture of the front and back of the physical ID (driver’s license, non-driver ID, or learner’s permit) using the phone’s camera, 4) pose for a selfie (the app checks your photo and ID against information on file with the DMV to ensure you are who you say you are). Once your information is verified, your MiD is active and ready to use wherever it is accepted.

The announcement also noted that all of the attributes on your physical ID, like their document type (REAL ID, Enhanced ID or Standard ID) and class (D, E, Commercial A, B, or C, etc.), and other attributes like organ donor status, veteran status, and lifetime hunting or fishing permits will all be available in the New York MiD app and can be shared with a verifier whenever a New York MiD holder agrees to share their personal information.

Of course, the state noted that the mobile ID won’t be accepted everywhere right away, so New Yorkers should still carry their physical driver’s licenses or IDs with them. The DMV is working with various businesses, organizations, and state government partners to expand use. “Any public or private entity that has a need to confirm an individual’s identity or age verification can begin accepting the Mobile ID at any time,” the announcement noted.

The mobile ID is not just a photo of the ID. Personal information is encrypted and only accessible when the ID holder consents to sharing it. The information is transmitted to the person looking to verify your identity through a secure digital connection. The user does not need to hand over their phone. The user can also opt to share some data and not others. For example, you can opt to show your age for the purchase of alcohol, but keep other bits like your address or name hidden.

More information on New York’s new Mobile ID program can be found on the DMV website: dmv.ny.gov/id-card/mobile-id-mid.