How to add your driver’s license to your iPhone and Apple Wallet

How to add your driver’s license to your iPhone and Apple Wallet

How to add your driver’s license to your iPhone and Apple Wallet

When you’re rushing to catch a flight, there’s a lot to keep track of, including tickets, your luggage, and your loved ones.

Almost all airlines will allow you to use a digital version of your boarding pass, but some states now allow residents to pass through airport security with a digital version of their driver’s license or other document approved identity.

Rather than going through your wallet, all you have to do is flash your Apple Wallet on your iPhone or Apple Watch.

“Adding driver’s licenses and state IDs to Apple Wallet is an important step in our vision to replace the physical wallet with a secure and easy-to-use mobile wallet,” said Jennifer Bailey, vice president of Apple Wallet. Apple Pay and Apple Wallet. in a report.

It’s not quite a universal game-changer yet: While 12 states have pledged to use digital IDs, only three have officially started accepting them. And even if the departure airport may accept a license on your Apple Watch, you may not receive the same courtesy on the return trip.

The Transportation Security Administration is already supporting the technology at some airport security checkpoints. So it’s really a question of when, not if the option becomes the national standard.

Here’s what you need to know to put your driver’s license in your Apple Wallet, including how to do it and which states recognize digital IDs.

Read more: Homeland Security extends deadline for actual identification at airports

How do I add my driver’s license to my Apple Wallet?

Apple Wallet

To add an ID to your Apple Wallet, tap the “plus” button at the top of the screen.

Dan Avery/CNET

Apple developed the technology to upload your ID to your Apple Wallet in iOS 15 for iPhone. The process is similar to how you would add a new credit card.

First, tap the “more” button at the top of the screen in Wallet. (If you have an Apple Watch paired to your iPhone, it will also ask you to add your license there.)

You’ll then scan your physical driver’s license with your iPhone’s camera and take a selfie, “which will be securely provided to the issuing state for verification,” according to Apple.

You will also be asked to perform a series of facial and head movements “as an added safety measure”.

Once your ID has been verified by the state that issued it, it will be added to your wallet.

In order to add your license or ID to Apple Wallet, it will need to be issued by a participating state. Additionally, you will need:

  • An iPhone 8 or later, or an Apple Watch Series 4 or later, with the latest version of iOS or WatchOS
  • Face ID or Touch ID enabled
  • An Apple ID with two-factor authentication enabled
  • Your device’s region is set to United States
Driver's License Program in Apple Wallet

At this time, only residents of Arizona, Colorado, and Maryland can download their licenses.

Dan Avery/CNET

In addition, only passengers with TSA pre-check on their boarding pass are eligible to flash digital licenses, according to the TSA’s website, although the agency said it plans to add the option for other passengers in the future.

Only one license or ID can be added to an iPhone and paired to an Apple Watch at a time.

Which airports accept digital ID?

Apple initially announced in 2021 that eight states participated in the program, then increased the number to 12 this year.

But these are states engaged to accept Apple Wallet credentials, which is currently not the case.

Currently, only Arizona, Colorado and Maryland support the digital ID feature – and only at certain security checkpoints at these airports:

  • Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport
  • Baltimore/Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport
  • Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma and Utah have all agreed to support the initiative, as has Puerto Rico, although specific timelines are unclear. have not been announced.

Other states should join this list: Last year, Bailey said that Apple was “already in discussions with many other states”.

And in November, the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles said it was “exploring” the digital ID option.

“There is a condition that has created a study committee on the idea and they are still researching it,” spokeswoman Maranda Williams told The State, a Columbia, South Carolina news outlet.

Regardless of Apple’s efforts, some states allow residents to download their driver’s license to their phone through state-run apps, like Louisiana’s LA Wallet. But these are for driving and age verification and are not yet accepted by the TSA.

TSA screen on an iPhone


How do I redeem a license stored in my Apple Wallet at the TSA?

To present your digital ID, tap your iPhone or Apple Watch on the ID reader at the security checkpoint.

You will then be prompted to authenticate your identification with Face ID or Touch ID.

If successful, a check mark should appear on the screen.

According to Apple, “you don’t need to unlock, show, or hand over your device. [to a TSA agent].”

Is this technology secure?

According to Apple, yes.

The company says the program uses the same privacy and security features already found on the iPhone and Apple Watch to prevent tampering and theft.

“Your driver’s license or state ID data is encrypted,” read a statement on Apple’s support website. “Neither the state issuing authority nor Apple can see when or where you use your license or ID, and biometric authentication using Face ID and Touch ID helps ensure that only you can view and use your license or ID.”

The TSA has also approved digital IDs.

“Digital identity has the ability to enhance airport security and improve the passenger experience by reducing touchpoints, providing greater privacy and verifying IDs more accurately,” the agency said in a statement.

My state accepts digital IDs. Do I still need my physical permit at the airport?

Yes. The program is still in its infancy and there is no guarantee that the checkpoint you are using will be configured to accept a driver’s license on your Apple Wallet.

“All passengers should continue to have their physical driver’s license handy,” according to the Transportation Security Administration’s website. “The TSA agent may require this physical identification in addition to the digital identification.”

Where can I use my digital ID?

With the iOS 16 rollout In June, apps that require age or identity verification should now be able to accept ID cards stored in your Apple Wallet app, Apple said. Uber Eats and car-sharing service Turo have been cited as two apps that may offer the feature, according to MacRumors, but neither has officially done so.

Apple added that retailers, restaurants and other places will use this feature in the future.

Digital IDs are not currently accepted by police or motor vehicle departments.

I have an Android phone. Can I upload my ID to Google Wallet?

In a December 2022 system update, Google announced it was a beta test allowing Android phone users to upload their driver’s licenses to Google Wallet “for a convenient, private, and secure presentation.” .

Google said the feature would be available in “one or more select U.S. states,” but didn’t say which ones or when.

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