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Do you live in one of these states? You can go through the TSA with a digital driver's license

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If you are fly on vacationthere’s a lot to track: your tickets, your luggage, your loved ones and more.

Almost all airlines allow you to use a digital version of your boarding pass. Now, some states allow residents to pass through airport security with a digital version of their driver’s license or other approved ID stored in their Apple wallet.

Rather than rummaging through your wallet, all you have to do is flash iPhone or apple watch.

“Adding driver’s licenses and state IDs to Apple Wallet is an important step in our vision to replace the physical wallet with a secure and easy-to-use mobile wallet,” said Jennifer Bailey, vice president of Apple Wallet. Apple Pay and Apple Wallet. . in a statement in 2021.

It’s not quite a universal game-changer yet: While 12 states have pledged to use digital IDs, only three have officially started accepting them. And even if the departure airport may accept a license on your Apple Watch, you may not receive the same courtesy on the return trip.

However, the Transportation Security Administration is already supporting the technology at some airport security checkpoints. So it’s really a matter of when, not if the option becomes available nationwide.

Here’s what you need to know to put your driver’s license in your Apple Wallet, including how to do it and which states recognize digital IDs.

Read more: Homeland Security extends deadline for actual identification at airports

How do I add my driver’s license to my Apple Wallet?

Apple developed the technology to upload your ID to your Apple Wallet in iOS 15 for iPhone. The process is similar to how you would add a new credit card.

First, tap the “more” button at the top of the screen in Wallet. (If you have an Apple Watch paired to your iPhone, it will also ask you to add your license there.)

Apple Wallet

To add an ID to your Apple Wallet, tap the “plus” button at the top of the screen.

Dan Avery/CNET

You’ll then scan your physical driver’s license with your iPhone’s camera and take a selfie, “which will be securely provided to the issuing state for verification,” according to Apple.

You will also be asked to perform a series of facial and head movements “as an added safety measure”.

Once your ID has been verified by the state that issued it, it will be added to your wallet.

To be able to add your license or ID to Apple Wallet, it will have to be issued by a participating State. Additionally, you will need:

  • An iPhone 8 or later, or an Apple Watch Series 4 or later, with latest version of iOS or Watch OS
  • Face ID or Touch ID enabled
  • An Apple ID with two-factor authentication enabled
  • Your device’s region is set to United States
Driver's License Program in Apple Wallet

At this time, only residents of Arizona, Colorado, and Maryland can download their licenses.

Dan Avery/CNET

In addition, only passengers with TSA pre-check On their boarding pass are eligible for flash digital licenses, according to the TSA websitealthough the agency said it plans to add the option for other passengers in the future.

Only one license or ID can be added to an iPhone and paired to an Apple Watch at a time.

Which states accept digital ID?

Apple originally announced in 2021 it’s eight states participated in the program, then increased the number to 12 this year.

But these are states he to accept Apple Wallet credentials, which is currently not the case.

Currently, only Arizona, Colorado and Maryland support the digital ID feature – and only at certain security checkpoints at these airports:

  • Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport
  • Baltimore/Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport
  • Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma and Utah have all agreed to support the initiative, as has Puerto Rico, although specific timelines are unclear. have not been announced.

Other states should join this list: Last year, Bailey said that Apple was “already in discussions with many other states”.

And in November, the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles said it was “exploring” the digital ID option.

“There is a reserve that has set up a study committee on the idea and they are still researching it,” spokesperson Maranda Williams told the statea Columbia, South Carolina media outlet.

Regardless of Apple’s efforts, some states allow residents to download their driver’s license to their phone through state-run apps, such as Louisiana LA Wallet. But these are for driving and age verification and are not yet accepted by the TSA.

TSA screen on an iPhone


How do I redeem a license stored in my Apple Wallet at the TSA?

To present your digital ID, tap your iPhone or Apple Watch on the ID reader at the security checkpoint.

You will then be prompted to authenticate your identification with Face ID or Touch ID.

If successful, a check mark should appear on the screen.

According to Apple“you do not need to unlock, unhide or reset your device [to a TSA agent].”

Is this technology secure?

According to Apple, yes.

A declaration on the Apple Support website indicates that the program uses the same privacy and security features already present on the iPhone and Apple Watch to prevent tampering and theft.

“Your driver’s license or state credentials are encrypted,” he said. “Neither the state issuing authority nor Apple can see when or where you use your license or ID, and biometric authentication using Face ID and Touch ID helps ensure that only you can view and use your license or ID.”

The TSA has also approved digital IDs.

“Digital identity has the ability to enhance airport security and improve the passenger experience by reducing touchpoints, providing greater privacy and verifying IDs more accurately,” the agency said in a statement.

If my state accepts digital IDs, do I still need my physical license at the airport?

Yes. The program is still in its infancy and there is no guarantee that the checkpoint you are using will be configured to accept a driver’s license on your Apple Wallet.

“All passengers should continue to have their physical driver’s license readily available,” according to the Transportation Security Administration’s website. “The TSA agent may require this physical identification in addition to the digital identification.”

Where can I use my digital ID?

With the iOS 16 rollout In June, apps that require age or identity verification should now be able to accept ID cards stored in your Apple Wallet app, Apple said. Uber Eats and car-sharing service Turo have been cited as two apps that may offer this functionality, according to MacRumorsbut neither did so officially.

Apple added that retailers, restaurants and other places will use this feature in the future.

Digital IDs are not currently accepted by police or motor vehicle departments.

I have an Android phone. Can I upload my ID to Google Wallet?

In a December 2022 system updateGoogle announced that it was a beta test allowing Android phone users to upload their driver’s licenses to Google Wallet “for a convenient, private and secure presentation”.

Google said the feature would be available in “one or more select US states,” but didn’t say which ones or when.

Read more: Smartphones Traded the Wow Factor for Peace of Mind in 2022