New York and California still talking a good mDL game
Leaders of two of the most prominent U.S. states, New York and California, are getting marginally more specific about plans for digital IDs.
That’s not the most exciting news in mobile driver’s licenses, but in 2021, the two states combined had 45.5 million licensed drivers, according to the Federal Highway Administration, making progress worth monitoring.
Already having enabling legislation, New York State’s Department of Motor Vehicles could have mobile driver’s licenses available this year, according to multiple reports.
As recently as last week, motor-vehicles commissioner Mark Schroeder reportedly told a local radio current-affairs program that he might have the program up this fall. But as he has for months, Schroeder released very few details. In March, he was talking about a yearend debut.
New York has also been working on a single sign-on program called the NY.gov ID+ program for government services.
The state is moving cautiously on mDLs, the commissioner has said, because similar rollouts in other states have been complex endeavors.
The information coming out of California, on the Lower 48’s opposite coast, has been almost as spare but twice as showy.
If he meant something other than cautiously, he did not say. The Legislature has passed a budget, which includes money for the state’s Department of Technology, which is organizing a small pilot for digital IDs.
GCN says the pilot, to begin before fall, will put up to 170,000 mobile driver’s licenses available.
The final budget bill, signed by Newsom earlier this month, places restrictions on what data is collected for the pilot, how it is protected and how it is managed.
“Any individual data collected,” the law states, “under the Digital Identity Pilot Program shall be treated as personal information” and protected under California’s civil code.
The Department of Technology can extend the pilot to any department that keeps personal data of children under the age of 18 years. And “precise” geolocation data cannot be collected.