Will New York be the next state to issue digital driver's licenses to residents? You might be wondering what exactly a digital driver's license is and which states have allowed them. Let's take a look.

Utah Tests Mobile Drivers License Pilot Program
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What Is A Digital Driver's License?

As we move further and further into a technological age, it only makes sense that our personal identification becomes digitized. To some extent, it already is, like when they scan your driver's license. Certain information is stored and or verified digitally from the hard copy of your ID. But some states are now offering digital versions of driver's licenses to residents. According to Trust Grid,

A digital driver’s licence (DDL)—meant as a supplement to, rather than a substitution for, the physical card—is an electronic version of the traditional driver’s licence stored on a smartphone using high-tech digital security features to prevent unauthorised tampering and access.

There are currently 15 states that have digital drivers licenses - Arizona, California (currently in pilot status), Colorado, Connecticut (in the works, but not available yet), Delaware, Florida (currently in pilot status), Georgia (in the works, but not available yet), Iowa (in the works, but not available yet), Kentucky (in the works, but not available yet), Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey (in the works, but not available yet), Ohio (in the works, but not available yet), Oklahoma, and Utah.

It's not just a digital photo of your license either. It uses technology to encrypt your ID and personal information.

According to the NY Post, a couple of years ago, Apple lobbyists met with officials in New York State to push for its technology to be used to issue driver's licenses. Some of the states that currently have digital DLs do use Apple Wallet, but not all of them do.

Can You Have A Real ID Digital Driver's License?

Erie County Clerk
Erie County Clerk

Starting on May 7, 2025, New York residents will need a REAL ID if they want to board a flight to another state or enter federal facilities. But, can you have a digital REAL ID? The federal government is behind the requirement of REAL IDs, so how does that jive with the states that are issuing digital DLs? Upgraded Points says that the federal government has a pilot program to test out digital DLs,

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is working to help create new standards for mobile driver’s licenses, This is a work in progress, but the DHS is working to compile information in order to “enable federal agencies to accept mDLs as REAL ID-compliant identification for official purposes.


New York State Driver’s Licenses Get Fresh Look, Security Updates

In early 2022, NY identification cards got updated. New York State's Department of Motor Vehicles unveiled its new driver's license and identification design. There are new security features incorporated into the cards. If you apply for a new license or I.D., to replace it you'll receive one of the new cards. They are designed to prevent tampering and counterfeiting.


This new design is the first update made by the DMV since 2013. The security updates can be seen and felt on cards. Images and text on the cards have been embossed, to make them easy to detect by touch. The microchip on the enhanced driver's license and non-driver ID is exposed. Upgrades have also been made to the images on the cards,

Both the clear windows within the document and the state seal have been redesigned using a process called multiple laser imaging. The process involves engraving two images into the card so that the image being seen changes when viewed at different angles. In addition to the motorist’s photo, the image now displays their birth month and year when viewed at a different angle.

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