At WWDC 21, Apple announced support for digital Wallet IDs and driver’s licenses stored in your iPhone. The feature, which is a part of iOS 15, expands the use of the Wallet app from only holding credit cards, and tickets to also storing users’ IDs in a secure way. Apple says that “Wallet provides a more secure and convenient way for customers to present their driver’s licenses and state IDs on iPhone or Apple Watch.”
The feature was initially slated to launch sometime this year but it ended up being delayed until 2022. Now, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that it will start accepting these digital IDs in 2022.
[Update: The Colorado Department of Revenue has announced that the Colorado driver license or state ID can now be added to the iOS Wallet app on iPhone and Apple Watch and accepted at select TSA checkpoints. The feature is available on iPhone models running on the latest iOS 16.1.1 update.]
TSA will begin rolling out support for Apple Wallet IDs in February 2022
As announced by the Secure Technology Alliance last week, the TSA plans to begin accepting mobile driver’s licenses in airports soon. It plans to launch a pilot program at two airports starting in February of 2022, then it will expand it to two more locations in March of 2022.
After support for Wallet IDs is rolled out, users will be able to present their driver’s license or state ID to TSA from their iPhone or Apple Watch without having to take out their physical cards or even hand over their device. Users will simply have to ap an NFC reader or use a QR scanner to initiate the data exchange. A TSA staff member will be present to oversee and validate the verification process.
During a panel about early mDL adoption, TSA shared its plans to begin accepting mDL use in airports at two state locations starting February of next year. The pilot program will add two additional states around March of 2022. TSA says standards-based digital ID’s, such as state-issued mDL will help streamline and secure the identity verification process. Instead of TSA staff examining a physical ID card, manually comparing a traveler’s ID photo to their face, and verifying flight information, a machine will automate the process.
We do not know which four airports in the United States will participate in the pilot program for Wallet IDs. Apple previously announced that the feature will launch first in Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah.