Apple Wallet begins support for carrying an official state ID in the United States

3 weeks ago 17
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(Pocket-lint) - Apple finally announced the beginning of their rollout in the United States to allow iPhone and Apple Watch owners to add their official government state identifications into Apple Wallet. While today there's only two out of fifty states offering the ability to digitise your ID card, Arizona and Georgia, six more, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma and Utah, plan on following in the coming months. 

While that excludes about 85 per cent of the United States initially, at least it's a start, right? 

Apple notes that a big key here is that the TSA, which is the protective agency guarding all US airports, will be enabling certain airport security lines with the technology required to be able to read ID cards from within Apple Wallet. Remember, the state ID cards are being read and verified using the same wireless contact system you’d use to pay with your iPhone at a coffee shop - it’s not just a digitally scanned photograph of your ID card. 

The company writes,

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   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...

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.

No word yet if Apple plans on expanding the feature globally, but in the meantime, let's see if they can manage to bring it to all fifty states first. 

To read the full press release by Apple, tap here

Writing by Alex Allegro. Originally published on 1 September 2021.

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