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Photo: Jake Peterson

Why do we still have physical IDs in the digital age? I don’t need my credit card if I can use Apple Pay; I no longer need my MetroCard with Express Transit; but still I have to bring it with me the whole wallet with me wherever a driver’s license is required. Fortunately, that seems to change with iOS 15, as Apple allows you to add an official ID to your wallet app.

The new function is tied to iOS 15, so not yet live. But we already know a lot about it; Apple lets you add your driver’s license or state ID to Wallet as long as your state supports it. Once added, it can be used as you pass new safety lanes at participating airports. Although this is the first use case, we hope that this ID in wallet function will be accepted in more forms in the future, e.g. B. when buying alcohol or other age-restricted goods.

How to add your ID to your iPhone’s wallet app

Once iOS 15 is out and the ID is live in Wallet, setup is relatively easy. It’s the same initial process to add other types of cards to the app. Just tap the (+) Button at the top of Wallet’s main screen and follow the instructions to add a license or ID. If you have an Apple Watch, you’ll also be asked to add the ID to the watch.

Next, iOS will ask you to scan your ID and ask for a selfie. Then, according to Apple, your iPhone will securely send the selfie to your state to verify your identity and let you record a series of face and head movements as an added layer of security. Once your state has verified your identity, your ID will be added to the wallet app.

How to use your ID in Wallet

While there are certainly many potential uses for the ID in Wallet, Apple’s main idea right now is to show your license or ID to the TSA when you go through airport security. All you have to do is tap the identity reader with your iPhone. When you do, you will see a prompt showing the information TSA requested. This information is not shared with TSA until you authenticate with Face ID or Touch ID.

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Apple insists this feature is secure; All of your identification information is encrypted on your device so that it cannot be accessed by third parties. If you share this information with a TSA identity reader, this process is also encrypted so that the data is protected in transit.

States in which you can use the ID in wallet

At this point in time, the ID in Wallet is not yet active because it is an exclusive iOS 15. There is no schedule for when the feature will go live. Apple hasn’t confirmed if this is a day-one feature for iOS 15 or if it will take some time. By then, Apple confirmed that Arizona and Georgia will be the first states in the country to opt for the ID in Wallet.

However, other states are also confirmed; they will only use the feature for some time after Arizona and Georgia. They are:

  • Connecticut
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Oklahoma
  • Utah