People in Arizona can now add their driver's licenses to Apple Wallet; here's what you need to know

Arizona is now the first state in the nation where residents with a driver's license or state-issued ID can add the card to their Apple Wallet.

Here's what you need to know about the digital ID.

When did Apple announce this feature for iPhones?

On Sept. 1, 2021, officials with the tech giant announced that Arizona and seven other states will be the first states to bring state IDs and drive's licenses in Wallet to their residents.

In the same statement, officials with Apple announced that the Transportation Security Administration will allow the feature to be used at security checkpoints and lanes in participating airports.

"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, in the statement.

Didn't Arizona roll out a digital ID already?

In March 2021, officials with IDEMIA announced that they, in partnership with the Arizona Dept. of Transportation, have launched a Mobile ID (mID) for Arizonans.

According to officials with ADOT, the mID is different from the ID in Apple Wallet, in that the mID can be used to "authenticate and complete enhanced-security services" on the Arizona MVD website, like transferring a vehicle title.

In contrast, the ID in Apple Wallet can only be used at the present time to confirm identity at select TSA security checkpoints.

In addition, the mID is available as an app for both Android and Apple devices, whereas the ID in Apple Wallet is only available for Apple devices.

Which airports can I use my digital ID at?

In a statement released on March 23, officials with the TSA said the feature has been rolled out at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.

"As other states and device manufacturers adopt this capability, TSA will deploy the technology at airport checkpoints," read a portion of the statement.

Initially, the new capability can only be used at Sky Harbor by TSA PreCheck passengers from Arizona.

"Only passengers with TSA PreCheck added to their boarding pass will be eligible at this time, with the capability to roll out to other passengers soon," read a portion of the statement.

Can I use the digital ID in other states?

At this time, no.

Officials with ADOT said as of now, use of the ID in Apple Wallet is "only available at select TSA checkpoints and lanes at participating airports."

How do I sign up?

Officials with Apple released instructions on how to add your ID to Apple Wallet:

  • Tap the + symbol in the Wallet app and select your state
  • Scan the front and back of your ID
  • Follow Apple's steps to confirm it's you
  • Send to the state for approval

According to ADOT officials, people will need an iPhone 8 or later with iOS 15.4 installed in order to get an Apple Wallet version of their ID. The ID will also be made available on Apple Watch Series 4 or later, with watchOS 8.4 or later versions installed.

ADOT officials also say people also do not need to have a Real ID-compliant driver's license or ID card to add their ID to Apple Wallet. However, ADOT's website also notes that only the Arizona Travel ID, alongside a U.S. passport and other federally-approved identification, will be accepted at TSA airport security checkpoint, effective May 3, 2023.

How do I use the Apple Wallet ID at Sky Harbor?

ADOT officials say when you get to the security lane, you will hold your Apple device near the identity reader, and review the requested information.

"When using your iPhone, you will need to confirm with Face ID or Touch ID. On Apple Watch, just double-click the side button to confirm and go," read a portion of the website.

This sounds a little invasive, in terms of privacy!

ADOT officials say the Apple Wallet ID is presented digitally between the identity reader and the device, so people will not need to show or hand over their iPhone or Apple Watch to TSA agents.

"Your driver license or state ID in Apple Wallet is stored on your iPhone and Apple Watch, keeping your data private and secure. Apple doesn’t know when or where you present your ID," a portion of the website reads.

In addition, ADOT officials say the DI is secured by either Face ID or Touch ID, which means you will be the only person who can present the driver's license or state ID to the TSA. In addition, the ID can be deleted via iCloud if your Apple device was misplaced or lost.

So, I don't need to carry my physical ID anymore, right?

ADOT officials say you will still need to carry your physical ID, since the ID in your Apple Wallet is, as of now, only used to verify identity at participating airports.

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