New York moves to implement digital driver's licenses later this year

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The New York State commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles, Mark Schroeder, said in a February budget hearing that they were developing mobile driver’s licenses (mDLs) as a possibility to be offered to New Yorker’s later in 2023.

According to Government Technology, a spokesperson for the DMV said that it was too early in the process to talk about where or how” mDLs would be used but that the development phase on the digital form of identification had begun in the state.

The director of identity management for the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, Michael McCaskil, said that since 2012 the AAMVA had been working on projects to rollout mDLs and their efforts led to a 2021 standard specification for the digital IDs that was adopted by the International Organization for Standardization.

Unlike physical licenses, mDLs operate more like an app than a standard form of identification and are not exact replicas of the hard ID. An mDLs user can choose to share certain information on an need-to-know basis at their discretion in certain circumstances. 

According to McCaskill, “They can always back out of a transaction before they share data. Even though the devices are connected, they are always in control.”

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