RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Apple says travelers in some states soon will be able to get through security using digital IDs on their phones or smartwatches.
The tech giant has partnered with several states that will allow residents to add driver’s licenses or other state IDs to their digital wallets.
North Carolina, however, is not on the list.
“The addition of driver’s licenses and state IDs to Apple Wallet is an important step in our vision of replacing the physical wallet with a secure and easy-to-use mobile wallet,” said Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay and Apple Wallet, in the announcement. “We are excited that the TSA and so many states are already on board to help bring this to life for travelers across the country using only their iPhone and Apple Watch, and we are already in discussions with many more states as we’re working to offer this nationwide in the future.”
The Transportation Security Administration plans to enable airport security checkpoints in the partnering states to accept those digital versions.
“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.”
That means passengers will be able to present digital IDs on their phones or watches to pass through.
Arizona and Georgia are the first states to sign on.
Apple says Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma and Utah are next.
How To: Apple’s directions
- Adding a driver’s license or state ID to Wallet: Similar to how customers add new credit cards and transit passes to Wallet today, they can simply tap the + button at the top of the screen in Wallet on their iPhone to begin adding their license or ID. If the user has an Apple Watch paired to their iPhone, they will be prompted to also add their ID or driver’s license to their Wallet app on their Apple Watch. The customer will then be asked to 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. 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.
- Presenting a driver’s license or state ID to TSA: Once added to Wallet, customers can present their driver’s license or state ID to the TSA by simply tapping their iPhone or Apple Watch at the identity reader. Upon tapping their iPhone or Apple Watch, customers will see a prompt on their device displaying the specific information being requested by the TSA. Only after authorizing with Face ID or Touch ID is the requested identity information released from their device, which ensures that just the required information is shared and only the person who added the driver’s license or state ID to the device can present it. Users do not need to unlock, show, or hand over their device to present their ID.