How to upload your driver’s license to your iPhone

if I were Travel during the holidaysThere’s a lot to keep track of as you race through the airport: your tickets, your boarding pass, your luggage, your loved ones – and your ID.

Almost all airlines allow you to use a digital copy of your boarding pass, but now some states allow residents to keep their driver’s license or other recognized identification in their Apple Wallet, allowing them just to flash. Iphone – or Apple Watch —instead of reaching for their pocketbooks to get their ID.

Apple announced the initiative in 2021, integrating the technology into iOS 15 for the iPhone.

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

It’s not a global game-changer yet: While 12 states have committed to allowing digital identities, only three have begun to officially accept them.

And while the airport you’re departing from may accept your driver’s license on your Apple Watch, it may not be extended with the same courtesy on your return trip.

But TSA already supports the technology at select security checkpoints at participating airports.

“Digital identity has the potential to enhance airport security and enhance the passenger experience by reducing touch points, providing greater privacy, and more accurate identity verification,” the agency said in a statement. So it’s really a question of when, not if, that option will become a national standard.

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

Read more: The Department of Homeland Security is postponing the deadline for obtaining real identification at airports

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

Adding a driver’s license or other country ID is similar to adding new credit cards to your Apple Wallet.

First, click on File + button at the top of the screen in Wallet. (If you have an Apple Watch paired with your iPhone, it will ask you to add your license there as well.)

Apple Wallet

Dan Avery/CNET

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

You will also be required to complete a series of facial and head movements as an “extra security step”.

Once your identity is verified by the issuing country, it will be added to your wallet.

To add your license or ID to Apple Wallet, it must be issued by a participating country. In addition, you will need:

  • iPhone 8 or later, or Apple Watch Series 4 or later, with the latest version of iOS or WatchOS
  • Face ID or Touch ID is turned on
  • An Apple ID with two-factor authentication turned on
  • Your device region is set to United States

Also, passengers only with TSA pre-screening On their boarding pass they are eligible for digital passes, according to the TSA website, though the agency said it plans to add an option for other passengers in the future.

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

Driver's license program in Apple Wallet

Right now, only residents of Arizona, Colorado, and Maryland can upload their licenses.

Dan Avery/CNET

Which countries accept the digital driver’s license on the iPhone?

Apple initially announced in 2021 that eight states were participating in the program, then raised the number to 12 this year. But these are countries committed To accept Apple Wallet IDs, you don’t currently.

Only Arizona, Colorado, and Maryland currently support digital identification—and only at select 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 committed to support the initiative, as has Puerto Rico, though no specific timelines have been announced.

Other countries are expected to join this list soon: Bailey said last year that Apple is “already in discussions with many other countries.”

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

“State has set up a study committee on the idea and they are still researching it,” spokeswoman Maranda Williams told The State, in Columbia, South Carolina.

Aside from Apple’s efforts, some states allow residents to upload their driver’s licenses to their phones through state-run apps, such as LA Wallet in Louisiana. But these are for driving and age verification purposes and are not yet accepted by the TSA.

TSA screen on iPhone

an Apple

How do I use an authorization 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 asked to authenticate your identity using Face ID or Touch ID.

If successful, a checkmark 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 safe?

According to Apple, it is. A statement on Apple’s support site says the software uses the same privacy and security features already in the iPhone and Apple Watch to prevent tampering and theft.

“Your driver’s license or state ID data is encrypted,” it said. “Neither a state issuing authority nor Apple can tell when or where you use your license or ID, and biometric authentication with Face ID and Touch ID helps ensure that only you can view and use your license or ID.”

If my state accepts digital IDs, do I still need my physical license at the airport?

Yeah. The program is still in its infancy, and there’s no guarantee that the TSA agent you’re facing will be able to accept a driver’s license on your Apple Wallet.

“All passengers should continue to have their physical driver’s license readily available,” the TSA said on its website. “This TSA officer may ask for a physical ID in addition to a digital ID.”

Where else can I use my digital ID?

with the Introducing iOS 16 Apple said that in June, apps that require age or identity verification should be able to accept ID cards stored in the Apple Wallet app.

Uber Eats and car-sharing service Turo have been cited as apps that could potentially offer this functionality, according to MacRumors, but neither has officially done so.

Apple also said that retailers, restaurants and other places will take advantage of the feature in the future.

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

In a December 2022 system update, Google announced that it was a beta tester that would allow Android phone users to upload their driver’s licenses to Google Wallet “for convenient, private, and secure viewing.”

While the company said the feature would be available in “select US state(s),” it didn’t indicate which ones or when.

Read more: Wow Factor Trending Smartphones for Peace of Mind in 2022

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