Governor of California, Gavin Newsom teased the support for digital IDs in the Wallet app in his speech outlining the 2023/2024 California budget proposal.
On iOS 15.4, Apple released support for digital IDs in the Wallet app so users to add their driver’s license or state ID on their iPhones and Apple Watch accepted at participating Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and other locations. The feature was designed for users to present their IDs in a convenient way and enjoy a more seamless and secure airport security screening experience when traveling.
In September 2021, Arizona was the first state to announce support for digital IDs in the Wallet app. Later, several other states also announced support for the feature like Georgia, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, Utah, Colorado, Hawaii, Mississippi, Florida, Ohio, and the territory of Puerto Rico.
California state to add support for digital IDs in the Wallet app “like no other”
In the speech, Governor Newsom spoke of digital IDs without naming Apple or iOS. He said that the state was working on the implementation of driver’s licenses or state IDs in digital wallets in a new and different way. The support is expected to come out within months.
Know this, in just a matter of months, we’re finally going to have those digital wallets, where you can get your driver’s license on a digital wallet. And we’re going to do it like no other state has done it. There’s only a few that have. But there’s issues. Ours we think it’ll be next level. We’re so excited about what the DMV can look like.
Even though little is known about California’s digital identification plans, the state’s lawmakers have been working on protecting users’ privacy related to digital IDs. MacRumors explains that California legislators have made digital IDs an opt-in feature, and restricted digital IDs and corresponding mobile apps from collecting information beyond what is mentioned on the physical ID and holding any information beyond the need to perform stated functions.
Furthermore, it restricts authorities from searching any smartphone with digital IDs; “digital ID users cannot be forced to hand over a smartphone to verify ID, nor does using a device for an ID provide consent for law enforcement to search a smartphone.”