New York offers RFID-embedded driver's licenses

The State of New York has begun to offer driver's licenses embedded with RFID chips.

File this one under "driver tech" instead of "car tech." The State of New York has started offering driver's licenses embedded with RFID chips, or enhanced driver's licenses (EDLs). The news comes on the heels of New York becoming the second state to offer identification that can be shown at the border in lieu of a U.S. passport (which is also RFID-embedded).

New York Enhanced Driver's License
New York DMV

The radio frequency identification chip in the EDL will be able to be scanned by authorities to identify citizens entering the state from Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean. Intercontinental travelers will still need to produce a passport to enter the country.

Authorities say no personal information will be stored or transmitted by the chip, only an identification number. Those who don't necessarily trust the powers that be can opt for a standard license, which doesn't work as a passport, or look into getting an RFID-blocking wallet and an aluminum foil hat.

The new EDLs will be available at a $30 premium over the standard $50 licensing fee. If you think $80 is a lot for a driver's license, consider that the cost of a standard New York license plus that of a United States passport is about $150.

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