Eight states – Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah – will offer residents digital driver’s licenses for Apple devices.
In a press release, Apple said the digital driver’s licenses and state IDs will be available in the Wallet app on iPhone 12 Pro and Apple Watch Series 6. Along with the states’ rollout plans, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will enable select airport security checkpoints and lanes in participating airports as the first locations customers can use their driver’s license or state ID in the Wallet app.
“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,” said David Pekoske, TSA administrator. “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.”
In terms of how residents will add their IDs to the wallet app, Apple said users will use their iPhone to scan their physical driver’s license or state ID card and take a selfie, which will be securely provided to the issuing state for verification
Driver’s licenses and state IDs in Wallet will provide an easy, fast, and more secure way for people to present their driver’s license or state ID using their iPhone or Apple Watch. Once a participating state begins offering this capability to its residents, customers will be able to add their driver’s license or state ID to Wallet and simply tap their iPhone or Apple Watch to present it to the TSA, without taking out their physical card or handing over their device. Apple added that as an additional security step, users will also be prompted to complete a series of facial and head movements during the setup process. Once verified by the issuing state, the customer’s ID or driver’s license will be added to Wallet.
Addressing security and privacy concerns, Apple said users’ identity data is encrypted. Additionally, Apple said that using biometric authentication through Face ID and Touch ID will ensure that only the person who added the ID to the device can view or present their ID or license in Wallet. Because IDs in the wallet are only presented digitally through encrypted communication directly between the device and the identity reader, users do not need to unlock, show, or hand over their device. Should users lose their device, they can use Apple’s Find My app to lock their device and help locate it, or remotely erase a device. Apple also confirmed that both Apple and the issuing states do not know when or where users present their IDs.
“Arizona is at the leading edge of states making mobile IDs available to the public, and we are pleased to work with Apple and give Arizonans the choice, convenience, and security of adding their driver’s license to their Apple Wallet,” said Eric Jorgensen, director of the Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division. “Beyond being innovative and exciting, a digital version of a driver’s license offers increased security and privacy for our residents, making it something everyone should consider.”
Apple noted that participating states and the TSA will share more information at a later date about when support for mobile driver’s licenses and state IDs in Wallet will be available in each state, and which TSA airport security checkpoints and select lanes it will be available at first.