New York State is putting the final touches on a digitalized driver's license you can carry on your phone or other electronic devices. And, it may be available before the end of the year.

The digital license would not be mandated but an option state residents would have to apply-for through the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles.

State DMV Commissioner Mark Schroeder didn't shed details on how New York's digital ID would work, but said a program may be rolled out by this fall.

Speaking on WIBX 950's First News with Keeler in the Morning - guest hosted Assembly member Marianne Buttenschon, Schroeder highlighted a bill to address a spike in the theft of catalytic converters. The legislation was brought forward by Buttenschon and was later passed by both houses and signed by Governor Kathy Hochul - taking effect this past January.

Schoroeder made reference to the future ability to have a driver's license available on your cell phone in the Empire State.


"It's really a big deal. New York State - we like to be number-one and we like to be the first one, but sometimes we need to be a little cautious. NYS DMV has relationships with other DMVs across the country, and we've talked with many of them - there may be nine or ten other states already doing this. But, they're having some severe growing pains, we don't want to do that," Schoerder said.

"We want to make sure when we go to the marketplace this fall that it's gonna work for everybody. We're very excited about it. We're putting the finishing touches on it and haven't really announced it yet."

While digital ID and licenses offer a convenient option in today's digital world, not everyone is sold on it being a good thing.


According to, the American Civil Liberties Union has concerns, including:

  • Concerns that hackers could exploit the adoption of digital driver’s licenses

  • Law enforcement “could use digital driver’s license verification as a pretext to search people’s devices”

  • The consolidation and tracking of large amounts of users and their data without their knowledge or consent

  • Decreased control over the data that ID holders release

For more information on NY's laws regarding catalytic converters, read the legislation here.


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