New York City ID has no 2D barcode

NYC Takes Steps Backwards with New ID

At, we get excited about most new ID format releases.  Why? It’s our bread and butter.  The expansion of the identification process to include municipal services is progressive, forward thinking, and leads to all-around efficient and easy data processing.  Don’t like filling out medical info? Us neither, and so we applaud New York City’s attempt to make tedious processes like applying for library cards and passes for museums unneccesary.  Also worth noting is the availability of these new IDs.  Anyone over the age of 14 can apply for one. And the enrollment process is free.

However, as much as the ID’s newly added applications and availability are one step forward, its lack of security and cardholder information is two steps backwards. And not to mention, extremely irresponsible.

Take a look at the new IDNYC at the top of the post.

As you can see the only data capture feature is a 1D barcode.  Those of us in the ID scanning industry know that this sort of data processing became outdated years ago, as the only data it may contain is a single ID number.  This is irresponsible for two very important reasons.

  1. Security. When processing the card there is no way to verify its legitimacy.  When scanning a typical ID, a savvy establishment will always check the front of the card to ensure that it matches the information encoded on the back.  When the back of the card carries no information except a string of numbers, this process becomes useless.  Fraudulent IDs will be virtually undetectable.
  2. Limited Applications.  The IDNYC will not be able to be used for any automated age verification or data entry purposes.  Autofill data entry is impossible if no demographics data is carried on the back of the card.  Bouncers and alcohol/tobacco vendors will have to manually inspect each ID with no ability to check authenticity.

It is important to note that we believe that this program has good intentions, however its current implementation should prove ineffective.  When you receive an IDNYC please be vigilant.  Frauds will be out there.  And they will be harder to detect than ever.

For more info, click here.