Apple Wallet adds a driver’s license feature for some users in the US

Apple Wallet is becoming even more like the real thing thanks to an update that will let you digitally store and use your driver’s license and state ID from the app… if you live in Arizona.

Starting today, Arizona residents will be able to add these documents to Wallet and can pass through select TSA security checkpoints in Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport just by scanning their iPhone or Apple Watch.

While Arizona is the first to introduce the change, users in Georgia, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, Utah, Colorado, Hawaii, Mississippi, Ohio, and Puerto Rico will soon be able to take advantage of the same benefits, as well.

If you’re planning to fly domestically from Arizona (or one of these states after they introduce the change) adding your ID to Apple Wallet is super simple. All you need to do is head to the Wallet app, tap on the + button, select “Driver’s License or State ID,” and then follow the instructions on your device and complete the verification process.

You’ll also need an Apple iPhone 8 or later running at least iOS 15.4 or an Apple Watch Series 4 or later running at least watchOS 8.4 in order to add and use your ID.

Right now the use case is limited. If you don’t fly domestically in the US, there’s no point storing your ID or driver’s license in Apple Wallet.

Even if you do, the number of states and airports supporting the feature is also pretty low. Unless you’re a frequent flyer, you might not get a chance to try this feature out for a while.

That said, support could rapidly expand as Apple’s approach opens up avenues for users to confirm who they are while also keeping some personal information private. For example, if you want to get past the bouncer at a night club they don’t need to know your name, sex, or the state you got your license, they just need to have your picture and age.

Apple Wallet would only share the relevant info with the check-in point, leaving other details out.

It might also provide a more accurate way to check ages and people’s identities in digital interactions. One day, iTunes could check your Wallet ID before letting you download explicit songs or R-rated movies.

Of course, this speculation assumes most people are even comfortable keeping this kind of data in their phones, at all. 

Given the level of security measures that are packed into smartphones nowadays, it’s probably safer than carrying around a physical card in your wallet. However, for those that are already cautious when storing payment information in Wallet, adding their ID could be a step too far.

We’ll have to wait to add see if the feature becomes more than a rarely used albeit nifty iPhone ability. Many might not have thought Apple Pay would take off and now it’s accepted at stores across the entire globe. Maybe Apple Wallet IDs will one day be just as popular.

By Hamish Hector

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