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What’s Different About An Enhanced Driver’s License? How About Radio Frequency (RFID) Chips

I recently upgraded my NYS driver’s license to an ‘enhanced’ one that allows me to cross the border without a more expensive passport as long as I’m driving or boating instead of flying. By outside appearances it’s basically the same as a regular ID but there’s a couple of new security features that you’ll notice:



PS- no that’s not me, lol! My, she has a cute name… Ahem. Anyway, grab your ID and follow along for comparison… First, cosmetically you’ll notice a banner at the top that identifies it as ‘enhanced’. Also, instead of your middle initial your full middle name is spelled out, there is an American flag in the lower right corner and some printed gobbletygook on the back that isn’t on your normal license. Also, it’s a bit more rigid than your current license which can be explained by this: there is a cool new (and very controversial) radio frequency chip inside…



For the paranoid out there, this nifty little tag inside your license doesn’t store any personal information but rather just a reference number that when scanned allows border agents to access the DMV database and quickly identify your identity and citizenship so you can be on your way without having to have your bodily crevices searched and your car disassembled (kidding). Because anyone can have an RFID scanner there is a little foil-lined sleeve included that protects your ID from any malicious or stray radio waves. Hey, does that mean if I cover MYSELF in foil that that protects me too? Haha… Stay away aliens…


Keith James / TSM

It was funny because after reading the little sleeve without researching it I was like, ‘What dummy would try to read my ID without removing it from the sleeve?’ Haha, oops!

Next: More Interesting Yet Controversial Tech


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My wallet has already gone the way of the dinosaur cause I hate sitting on a bump on my butt and money clips were equally cumbersome to me, but I still carry credit cards w/my cash wrapped around them. Still cumbersome.

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