NY Mobile ID is here…

I’m angrier than a 47-year-old blogger who’s seeing everything evolve technologically.  I’m absolutely irate because we can’t travel back in time to the 1980’s.  Everything has to be freakin’ digital, and I mean everything.  SD TV?  Gone.  Analog cell phones?  Out the window.

Life without the damned internet and, for that matter, cell phones as a whole, would do society a lot of good.  And yes, I realize the irony of saying the internet shouldn’t exist…on the internet.  Bite me.

What really pisses me off is that, much like digital television, the internet, Androids, iPhones and laptops, I have to adapt or perish.  So it is in this case.  And that really enrages me.

Now the problem is digital identification cards.  Yep, as of this morning, it’s gone digital in New York State!  Nothing can be simple anymore, can it?  No, it can’t!  I miss the days of having a paper driver’s license.

Today?  Nope.

These days, it just has to be plastic.  I miss the days of cold, hard cash.  Now, it’s Apple Pay this, Google Wallet that, debit cards for not just bank accounts, but PayPal accounts and so forth.  I miss those days.  Life used to be simple.  Life used to be grand.

Well, today, things have officially gone from bad to worse, at least in New York State.

Now you can download an app for your Android phone or iPhone and have a copy of your driver’s license or identification card on your phone.  For the life of me, I can’t figure out what the end game is here.

I mean, we all have physical cards, right?  If you don’t have a driver’s license, you have an ID card, because that’s the way it needs to be and that’s the way things have been for forever and a day.  What’s changed to the point that we have to download an app just to identify oneself?  It should be enough to make anyone sick!

In a statement to conventional media outlets, bloggers and freelance reporters (the latter two are me.), our idiotic and, quite frankly, evil governor’s office wrote thusly:

“Governor Kathy Hochul announced today that the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles has launched the New York Mobile ID, a highly secure digital version of a state-issued driver license, learner permit or ID on a smartphone. The Mobile ID is a voluntary product designed for the convenience and security of New Yorkers and is available to IOS and Android users. Anyone who has a valid, state-issued driver license, learner permit or non-driver ID can download the secure Mobile ID app through Google Play or the App Store.”

The local CBS affiliate here in Albany is reporting that, as the statement says, the app is voluntary.  At least for now, they didn’t say.  The app will be accepted at certain airports and TSA checkpoints.

Yes, it’s available for download right now.  As of the time that this article was published, a search in the Google Play store on my Android phone yielded no results.  But I clicked on the link that the press release provided and I was able to download it over the air.  I have no idea what search results bring on the iPhone.  You’re looking for a blue icon that says “MiD New York.”

That’s right, I kept the bile down somehow and installed the app quite easily on my Motorola razr 2023.  I then launched the app and found the installation instructions to be quite easy indeed:

  • Verify your cell phone number.
  • Break out your license or ID card.  Take a shot of the front in the back.  This is where I had a problem.  My hands were shaking, so keeping the card still was a bit of a challenge.  I also held it too close to the camera.  But I then put it on a flat surface and kept it steady.  Within a minute, my card was verified.

It really was that easy.  Your mileage may vary depending on your brightness, keeping the phone steady and a flat surface.  For me, the arm of my sofa worked just fine.

You’ll then have to further identify yourself by putting your face in an oval.  Assuming there are no problems, you’ll be verified quickly and there you go.  You can then set a six-digit passcode.

On the Android, you can verify via your fingerprint.  When I migrated back to Android products, I got rid of all my Apple devices, so I can’t help iPhone users out.  According to WRGB, you can protect your information by Face ID on iPhones.

Now, when I enter the app, my photo appears in a circle and all my vital information appears below: my name, issue date, expiration date, CID number and class.  There’s a button to share identify, which, when pressed, will give you the opportunity to share the information.  I’m not a fan of Bluetooth, so I enabled it just long enough to test it.  It pops up a QR code that can be scanned.

Other media outlets are reporting that, for now, the QR code would be used for law enforcement, nightclubs, marijuana stores and certain other small businesses to verify the information.  There is no word on whether liquor stores will accept it.  I never get carded anymore, so I won’t need to tinker with that.

But there it is: with relative ease, you can get things going in less than five minutes.  Now to see if it has any real-world usefulness.  Just remember that, as it stands now, this is all optional, but as with other pathetic technological advances, it will likely be mandatory at some point.