Apple’s Wallet app is handy to store and quickly retrieve many things, like airline tickets, reservations or digital passes. It also makes Apple Pay possible, as your bank card can be stored there.
But while you can’t store your COVID-19 vaccination card on it (yet), there has been another striking omission — your driver’s license. But Apple is about to change that. This new feature could be a game-changer for travelers.
If you have been waiting for the functionality, it won’t be much longer until you can upload your driver’s license or state ID. The change will be rolled out when iOS 15 is released later this year. Read on for more details on this helpful new feature.
Here’s the backstory
For most people, a driver’s license or state ID is their main form of identification. It easily fits into a wallet or handbag and should always be with you when you are driving. But there could be instances where you don’t have it with you.
Apple thought about that, which is why you will be able to include your driver’s license in the Wallet app. By simply adding it to the application, you will always have a form of identification if you have your iPhone with you. You can also add it to your Apple Watch.
You will be able to do this when iOS 15 is released later this year, but it will at first only be available in two states.
Arizona and Georgia will get the ability first and will be followed by:
More states are expected to add this feature later.
But that’s not all. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will also scan Apple Wallet passes at select airport security checkpoints. A spokesperson for Apple said that the change falls in line with their goal of replacing the physical wallet with apps on the iPhone and Apple Watch.
How Apple Wallet will help speed up airport security
This new feature is more than just a convenient way to show your ID when making purchases. It’s going to be a huge step forward for travelers, as TSA has embraced the idea.
“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.
‘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,” said David Pekoske, TSA Administrator.
The process to add a driver’s license or state ID to your Apple Wallet will be the same as adding a boarding pass or loyalty card. Here’s how:
- Open Settings and select Wallet & Aple Pay
- Tap on the + button at the top of the screen
- Select the card type that you want to upload
- You will be asked to use your iPhone to scan your 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, you will be prompted to complete a series of facial and head movements during the setup process
- Once verified by the issuing state, your ID or driver’s license will be added to Wallet
Keeping a record of your driver’s license can raise some concerns for security-conscious users. Apple made it clear that neither the company nor the issuing states will know when the card is presented.
It was also quick to add that “customers’ identity data is encrypted and protected” and that passes in Wallet are “only presented digitally through encrypted communication.”