As Promised at WWDC-21, Apple Reveals the First States Adopting Driver's Licenses and State ID's in Apple Wallet
In June Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple's iOS 15 is bringing a new Dimension to Apple Wallet that relates to Digital ID such as Driver Licenses and more." Apple Wallet and Apple Pay VP Jennifer Bailey introduced a new Digital ID feature coming to iOS 15 this fall that's a part of a much larger Apple project. Below is a video snippet from her keynote segment talking about bringing Digital Driver Licenses to Apple Wallet. Over time Digital ID will extend to Passports and more.
Our report also pointed to the fact that Apple's ID program was borne out of a patent application that Apple filed for in 2018 which was published in 2020. Apple was granted that their patent in April 2021 followed by a second granted patent last month. Below is a set of patent figures from that patent.
Today Apple officially announced that it is working with several states across the country, which will roll out the ability for their residents to seamlessly and securely add their driver’s license or state ID to Wallet on their iPhone and Apple Watch. Arizona and Georgia will be the first states to introduce this new innovation to their residents, with Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah to follow. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will enable select airport security checkpoints and lanes in participating airports as the first locations customers can use their driver’s license or state ID in Wallet. Built with privacy at the forefront, Wallet provides a more secure and convenient way for customers to present their driver’s licenses and state IDs on iPhone or Apple Watch.
To add a state ID or driver’s license to Apple Wallet, customers will be asked to scan their physical ID card and take a selfie, which is securely sent to the issuing state for verification.
Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay and Apple Wallet: "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. We are excited that the TSA and so many states are already on board to help bring this to life for travelers across the country using only their iPhone and Apple Watch, and we are already in discussions with many more states as we’re working to offer this nationwide in the future."
David Pekoske, TSA Administrator: "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."
Seamless and Secure Experience
Driver’s licenses and state IDs in Wallet will provide an easy, fast, and more secure way for people to present their driver’s license or state ID using their iPhone or Apple Watch. Once a participating state begins offering this capability to its residents, customers will be able to add their driver’s license or state ID to Wallet and simply tap their iPhone or Apple Watch to present it to the TSA, without taking out their physical card or handing over their device.
- Adding a driver’s license or state ID to Wallet: Similar to how customers add new credit cards and transit passes to Wallet today, they can simply tap the + button at the top of the screen in Wallet on their iPhone to begin adding their license or ID. If the user has an Apple Watch paired to their iPhone, they will be prompted to also add their ID or driver’s license to their Wallet app on their Apple Watch. The customer will then be asked to use their iPhone to scan their 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, users will also be prompted to complete a series of facial and head movements during the setup process. Once verified by the issuing state, the customer’s ID or driver’s license will be added to Wallet.
- Presenting a driver’s license or state ID to TSA: Once added to Wallet, customers can present their driver’s license or state ID to the TSA by simply tapping their iPhone or Apple Watch at the identity reader. Upon tapping their iPhone or Apple Watch, customers will see a prompt on their device displaying the specific information being requested by the TSA. Only after authorizing with Face ID or Touch ID is the requested identity information released from their device, which ensures that just the required information is shared and only the person who added the driver’s license or state ID to the device can present it. Users do not need to unlock, show, or hand over their device to present their ID.
Security and Privacy
Customers will use Face ID or Touch ID to authorize only the requested information to be shared with the TSA.
Wallet provides a convenient and more secure way to present driver’s licenses and state IDs, while offering superior security and privacy over a physical wallet.
- Apple and the issuing states do not know when or where users present their IDs.
- Driver’s licenses and state IDs in Wallet take full advantage of the privacy and security built into iPhone and Apple Watch. Customers’ identity data is encrypted and protected against tampering and theft. Biometric authentication using Face ID and Touch ID ensures that only the person who added the ID to the device can view or present their ID or license in Wallet.
- Driver’s licenses and state IDs in Wallet are only presented digitally through encrypted communication directly between the device and the identity reader, so users do not need to unlock, show, or hand over their device.
- If a user misplaces their iPhone or Apple Watch, they can use the Find My app to lock their device and help locate it, or remotely erase a device.
- Apple’s mobile ID implementation supports the ISO 18013-5 mDL (mobile driver’s license) standard which Apple has played an active role in the development of, and which sets clear guidelines for the industry around protecting consumers’ privacy when presenting an ID or driver’s license through a mobile device.
States Across the Country See Benefits of IDs in Wallet
States across the country are looking forward to the superior security and convenience that driver’s licenses and state IDs in Wallet provide to them and their users.
"Arizona is at the leading edge of states making mobile IDs available to the public, and we are pleased to work with Apple and give Arizonans the choice, convenience, and security of adding their driver’s license to their Apple Wallet," said Eric Jorgensen, director of the Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division. "Beyond being innovative and exciting, a digital version of a driver’s license offers increased security and privacy for our residents, making it something everyone should consider."
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont: "We’re excited to bring a new addition to our state’s modernization efforts that will make our residents’ lives easier, and keep their identities secure through the use of mobile driver’s licenses in Apple Wallet. We’re pleased to be one of the first states working with Apple to deploy driver’s licenses and state identification cards in Apple Wallet, and we’re looking forward to taking the next steps to make sure this new feature benefits our residents."
"Georgia is a national leader when it comes to the safety and security of its driver and identity credentialing process, with more than 99 percent of Georgians REAL ID compliant, and the state of Georgia is equally as committed to safety and security through our mobile driver’s licensing (mDL) efforts with Apple," said Spencer R. Moore, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Driver Services. "Together, we will deliver customer convenience through touchless identity verification and enhanced security and privacy protection through technology. We are honored to work with Apple as an initial adopter for such a revolutionary customer experience. A state-issued credential has become the standard for which institutions of all sectors use as a trusted source of identity proofing. The identity proofing bar has been raised significantly thanks to Apple and innovative states like Georgia."
"We are glad to see Apple advance the acceptance of mobile driver’s licenses by offering a secure and convenient way to present a mobile driver’s license with Apple Wallet," said Melissa Gillett, director of the Iowa Motor Vehicle Division. "Privacy and security have been at the forefront of our mobile driver’s license development process and we appreciate Apple’s proven reputation in these areas, as well as the shared commitment to following the ISO 18013-5 standard."
"Kentucky's Transportation Cabinet is excited to be leading the pack through this innovative collaboration with Apple to further deliver on our pledge to take driver licensing to the next level," said Matt Cole, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Vehicle Regulation. "The potential for mobile driver’s licenses is limitless, and we look forward to taking steps to continue to offer modern conveniences to Kentuckians while maintaining our unwavering commitment to security and privacy."
"Maryland is proud to be a leader once again in safe innovation with the implementation of mobile driver’s licenses," said Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. "As we look to the future, we are committed to enhancing convenience and accessibility while maintaining the highest safety and security standards for our state and citizens."
Driver’s licenses and state IDs in Apple Wallet provide an easy, fast, and more secure way for people to present their driver’s license or state ID from their iPhone or Apple Watch.
Oklahoma. Jerry Moore, CIO of the state of Oklahoma: "We are excited to work with Apple on mobile IDs in Apple Wallet. This innovative project is yet another example of the momentum we are building as a state in our continued efforts to be a national leader in the digital transformation space."
"Utah has always been a forward-looking state. We regularly hear from people who want to access their driver license through their phones," said Jess Anderson, commissioner of the Utah Department of Public Safety. "This is a great opportunity for Utah to work with Apple in an innovative use of technology. This secure mobile license adds convenience while helping keep Utah safe."
Participating states and the TSA will share more information at a later date about when support for mobile driver’s licenses and state IDs in Wallet will be available in each state, and which TSA airport security checkpoints and select lanes it will be available at first.
Apple Wallet on iPhone and Apple Watch offers an easy, secure, and convenient way to do everything from paying for groceries to accessing your favorite entertainment venues. With Wallet, users can pay in-store, online, and in-apps with Apple Pay, pay for and ride public transportation in cities across the globe, unlock their car, and access airline boarding passes, event tickets, and loyalty rewards programs.
University and college students, as well as faculty can also tap their device to use their mobile student ID in Wallet to make purchases and get around campus. Coming soon, Wallet will also provide access to customers’ home, apartment, and hotel keys, as well as corporate badges. More information on Wallet can be found at apple.com/wallet.
It would be great to see Apple's ID program (along with others) be a part of a National ID that would set the standard for Voting in all U.S. elections in the future, as mail in ballots without signatures and proper photo ID is a growing US issue regarding the integrity of elections. If photo ID is used for vehicle licenses and passports, then it's time that the bar be raised, not lowered, for major elections.
While Apple is excited about their new National ID program for Apple Wallet, back in April Tim Cook was oddly against the state of Georgia's new law that would require voters to provide identification when they requested and returned absentee ballots.