New York launches Mobile ID, joins growing trend of digital IDs

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New York launches Mobile ID, joins growing trend of digital IDs
Image credit: NYS DMV

New York has become the latest state to jump on the digital identification bandwagon, joining a handful of others that have already made this technology available to their residents. Governor Kathy Hochul recently unveiled the New York Mobile ID app, which is now available for download on both the Play Store and the App Store, and stated:

Kathy Hochul, New York State Governor

Who is eligible for Mobile ID

Any New Yorker with a valid driver's license, learner's permit, or state ID can take advantage of this new digital identification option. While the app's current functionality is primarily focused on air travel through select airports, including JFK and La Guardia, the state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has outlined a process for businesses to start accepting the digital ID. This suggests broader applications for the technology in the future.

How to acquire a New York Mobile ID

Getting your digital ID is a straightforward process, but there are a few things to keep in mind:
  • Smartphone and Phone Number Required: You'll need a smartphone with a registered phone number. This number will be linked to your digital ID, and you won't be able to use the ID on multiple phones simultaneously.
  • Photos Needed: You'll need to take pictures of the front and back of your physical ID, as well as a selfie. Don't worry if your selfie isn't perfect; the app will use your existing DMV photo.
  • Verification Process: After submitting your information, you'll need to wait a few minutes for the DMV to verify your identity. Once this is done, your digital ID will be active and ready to use.

Images credit: Apple App Store

Security and privacy with NY Mobile ID

New York's digital ID system is designed with security in mind. When a business scans your digital ID, they won't have direct access to your phone. Instead, you'll present a QR code or use NFC to establish a secure connection, and you'll need to authorize any data requests. This gives you control over what information you share, enhancing your privacy.

The future of digital IDs in New York

While the New York Mobile ID is currently limited in its applications, the state has created an open system for businesses to adopt the technology. This could pave the way for wider acceptance in the future. Though the list of participating airports is still small, and there's no information yet on law enforcement adoption, the free and user-friendly nature of the app could encourage its use in various settings beyond bars and airports.

The introduction of New York Mobile ID represents a significant step in the growing trend towards digital identification. As the technology continues to evolve and gain acceptance, it has the potential to streamline various processes and offer a more convenient and secure way to verify identity.

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