Arizona is now the first state to offer residents the option of storing their digital driver’s license or state ID card in their Apple Wallet.

In a press release, Apple said that Arizona will soon be joined by a handful of other states in offering digital state licenses and IDs, including Colorado, Hawaii, Mississippi, Ohio, and the territory of Puerto Rico.

Apple said that Arizona residents can now add their driver’s license or state ID to Apple Wallet, and tap their iPhone or Apple Watch to seamlessly and securely present it at select Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security checkpoints in Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. All information is shared digitally, meaning users do not need to show or hand over their device to present their ID. The TSA will also capture a picture of the traveler for verification purposes.

“With this technology, Arizonans are at the front of the line for experiencing a streamlined airport security process,” Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said. “This puts our state at the leading edge of a new technology that offers choice, convenience, privacy, and security.”

Apple explained that the process of adding a driver’s license or state ID to Wallet is relatively straightforward. Residents can tap the + button at the top of the screen in Wallet on their iPhone, select “Driver’s License or State ID,” and follow the on-screen instructions to start the setup and verification process. For identity verification purposes, users will be asked to take a selfie and scan the front and back of their driver’s license or state ID card, which will be securely provided to the issuing state for verification.

As an additional fraud prevention step, Apple said users will also be prompted to complete a series of facial and head movements during the setup process. However, the state, not Apple, is ultimately responsible for verifying and approving the user’s request to add their driver’s license or state ID to Wallet.

“Arizona is proud to be the first state to give our residents the choice to add their ID to Apple Wallet,” Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) Director Eric Jorgensen said. “We will continue to seek out opportunities for products and services that provide Arizonans security, privacy, and ease of use.”

In a press release, Arizona reassured potential nervous users about security concerns that identity data is encrypted and protected against tampering and theft. The MVD and Apple do not know when or where residents present their IDs. The state added that biometric authentication using Face ID and Touch ID ensures that only the person who added the ID to the device can view or present their ID or license in Apple Wallet.

Additionally, were users to lose their iPhone or Apple Watch, they can use the “Find My” app to lock their device and help locate it, or remotely erase their device.

Arizona said that at this time, the new functionality can only be used to present an ID at select TSA airport security checkpoints. However, the governor’s office stressed that this is a new technology, and its use case will grow over time.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs