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Arizona is first state to offer digital driver’s license on iPhone

An Apple employee demonstrates the wallet feature of the new iPhone X at the Apple Union Square store Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, in San Francisco. Eric Risberg/ AP

Story at a glance

  • Apple announced that iPhone users in Arizona can now add their driver’s license and state ID to their phone’s Wallet app.
  • Apple worked with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to allow digital ID verification at security checkpoints in select airports around the country.
  • All information is shared digitally through encrypted communication, eliminating the need to physically present an ID card.

Many iPhone users are accustomed to having their credit cards, gift cards and even boarding passes lined up, ready to be used at the tap of a finger through their Wallet mobile app. This week, iPhone users in Arizona will also be able to access their driver’s licenses through the app, a long-awaited addition. 

Apple announced this week Arizona is the first state to offer driver’s licenses and state IDs in the Wallet app, accessible through an iPhone or Apple Watch. Users can “seamlessly and securely” present their ID at Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security checkpoints in Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. 

In September, Apple announced it was working with multiple states to roll out driver’s license and state ID capabilities for the Wallet app. Arizona and Georgia were slated to be the first states to offer the new feature, followed by Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma and Utah. 

Apple said TSA would be enabling select airport security checkpoints and lanes in participating airports as the first locations for iPhone users to test out the new feature.


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

Apple explained that once a driver’s license or state ID is added to the Wallet app, users can tap their iPhone or Apple Watch at the identity reader at participating TSA checkpoints. Users can also consent to providing TSA-requested information through biometric authentication using Face ID or Touch ID — which helps ensure only the person who added their ID or license in Wallet can view or present it. 

All information is shared digitally through encrypted communication, so users don’t need to physically hand over their device or ID card.  

TSA will also take a picture of a traveler using Wallet at security checkpoints for verification purposes. 

In the case that someone loses their Apple device, they can use the Find My app to remotely lock their device, get help locating it or erase it completely. 

Americans are increasingly reliant on their cellphones, with 97 percent of Americans owning a cellphone of some kind, according to Pew Research.


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