8 States to Let Drivers Add Their License to Apple Devices

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Man pulling up ID on his phone
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For residents of eight states, fumbling through a wallet or purse to find a driver’s license or ID card soon may be a thing of the past.

Apple announced today that eight states have agreed to allow residents to add their driver’s license or state ID to their Apple Wallet on their iPhone and Apple Watch.

Arizona and Georgia will be the first two states to adopt the feature. The full list of eight states is:

  • Arizona
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Oklahoma
  • Utah

Apple says it is in discussions with “many more” states to allow the feature, and that the goal is to roll it out nationwide at some point.

The first place you will be allowed to use your license or ID in this way is at participating airports, Apple says. The federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has agreed to set up select airport security checkpoints and lanes where people can use the feature.

In an Apple press release, David Pekoske, TSA administrator, says:

“This new and innovative mobile driver’s license and state ID initiative with Apple and states around the country will enable a more seamless airport security screening experience for travelers. This initiative marks a major milestone by TSA to provide an additional level of convenience for the traveler by enabling more opportunities for touchless TSA airport security screening.”

Apple says that those with an iPhone can tap the + button at the top of the screen in Wallet on their iPhone to add their license or ID. Those with an Apple Watch paired to their iPhone will be prompted to add their ID or driver’s license to their Wallet app on their Apple Watch.

You will then use the iPhone to scan the physical driver’s license or state ID card and take a selfie. Apple will securely provide this to your state for verification. For added security, you also will be asked to complete a few facial and head movements during setup.

After the state verifies your information, your license or ID will be added to Wallet. Then, to present the card to TSA, you can tap your iPhone or Apple Watch at an identity reader.

According to Apple:

“Only after authorizing with Face ID or Touch ID is the requested identity information released from their device, which ensures that just the required information is shared and only the person who added the driver’s license or state ID to the device can present it.

Apple adds that it is taking several other steps to ensure security and privacy with the new feature. For starters, neither Apple nor the issuing states will be able to tell where or when you use your license or ID in this way.

The information is strictly presented digitally through encrypted communication between the device and the identity reader. That means you will not have to unlock, show or hand over your device to anyone.

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