Your iPhone can now double up as a digital driver’s license… here’s how


Keep forgetting your ID on nights out? Your iPhone can now double up as a digital driver’s license in these four states… here’s how

Apple has a helpful feature for those who constantly leave their identification card at home.

Forgetful individuals can store their driver’s license or State ID in Apple Wallet.

The ID will be encrypted and stored in the same secure element as users’ credit cards, transit and airline boarding passes.

Users simply upload their IDs as they would a credit card by opening Wallet and select ‘Driver’s License or State ID,’ and then choose their state of residency.

However, the feature is only available in select states: Arizona, Colorado, Maryland and Georgia.

IDs can be added to an iPhone 8 or later, along with an Apple Watch Series 4 or later and are read by tapping the device on a scanner.

Users simply upload their IDs as they would a credit card by opening Wallet and select 'Driver's License or State ID,' and then choose their state of residency

However, the feature is only available in select states: Arizona, Colorado, Maryland and Georgia

Users simply upload their IDs as they would a credit card by opening Wallet and select ‘Driver’s License or State ID,’ and then choose their state of residency

Apple unveiled the ability to store IDs in Wallet at its 2021 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) as part of the updates in iOS 15. 

While only a few states are eligible, Apple noted two years ago that Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma and Utah will be the other states involved in the feature’s rollout in the near future.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will be the first federal agency to approve using digital licenses at airport security checkpoints in the first eight states to carry out the feature. 

Vice president of Apple Pay and Apple Wallet platforms Jennifer Bailey said in a 2021 statement: ‘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.

IDs can be added to an iPhone 8 or later, along with an Apple Watch Series 4 or later and are read by tapping the device on a scanner

IDs can be added to an iPhone 8 or later, along with an Apple Watch Series 4 or later and are read by tapping the device on a scanner

The tech giant has reassured its users that the feature was ‘built with privacy at the forefront’ and that personal details on digital IDs will not be tracked or shared.

The question of potential privacy leaks has also been raised.

While the new feature is only available in a handful of states for TSA use, it is difficult to imagine a future involving an interaction where users present digital state driver licenses or IDs to law enforcement without knowing how police officers will interact with the person’s phone if their license is on it, especially if they have to go back to their police cars with it.

American Civil Liberties Union has raised the question in a recent report on the consequences of introducing digital IDs in society and its potential for abuse by law enforcement.

‘Given rampant questionable police searches of mobile devices, statutory protections against such searches — already needed — will become even more vital if people’s smartphones are to become a central and routine part of interactions with law enforcement,’ the report said.

The rollout for Apple’s plan to replace physical wallets has not yet been announced in the other 42 states.

In 2020, Apple filed patents for ‘a device implementing a system for using a verified claim of identity,’ Apple Insider reported.

The firm reported that 48 percent of iPhone owners use Apple Pay globally.

The US is second only behind the UK in Apple Pay adoption out of 17 countries ranked for adoption rates globally. 



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