Starting in early 2022, residents of select U.S. states will be able to add their driver’s license or state ID to the Wallet app on the iPhone and Apple Watch, providing a convenient and contactless way to display proof of identity or age.
According to a Security Technology Alliance blog post shared by 9to5Mac, the TSA plans to begin accepting mobile driver’s licenses at airports in two U.S. states starting in February 2022, followed by an additional two states around March. The TSA did not specify which states or airports will be part of this initial rollout, and it’s unclear if Wallet app integration will be ready in time or if digital IDs will be limited to states’ own apps at first.
In September, Apple revealed the first states that would let residents add their driver’s license or state ID to the Wallet app as including Arizona and Georgia, with Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah to follow. Florida is also reportedly aiming to support the feature, while the Security Technology Alliance said several other states like Virginia and Louisiana have piloted mobile driver’s license usage.
Residents of participating states will be able to tap the plus sign at the top of the Wallet app to begin adding a driver’s license or state ID to the app, and then simply tap their iPhone or Apple Watch on an identity reader to present their ID at select TSA security checkpoints, without taking out their physical card or handing over their device.
Only after authorizing with Face ID or Touch ID is the requested identity information released from a user’s device, and they do not need to unlock, show, or hand over their device to a TSA security officer to present their ID, according to Apple.
When adding an ID to the Wallet app, Apple said users will be required to take a photo of their face, which will be securely provided to the issuing state for verification. As an additional security measure, Apple said users will be prompted to complete a series of facial and head movements during the setup process.
Apple has not provided a specific release date for the feature beyond the early 2022 timeframe, and the feature is not enabled in the first iOS 15.3 or watchOS 8.4 betas. The feature was supposed to launch this year, but it was delayed.