Technology lovers who utilize their Apple iPhones and Apple Watches on a daily basis now have a bit more functionality literally at their fingertips. The tech giant announced that Apple Wallet will allow users in select areas to add their state-issued driver's license or official ID into the device. Apple is working with states to make it a valid substitute for a physical license.
As of now, Arizona and Georgia are the first states which will allow residents to use Apple's digital identification in lieu of a physical card. Iowa, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Utah, Connecticut, and Maryland will also adopt the service. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is also working with Apple and will allow select security checkpoints at some airports to accept the digital identification.
According to Apple, adding the license to Apple Wallet is similar to how credit cards are added. The physical license is scanned to the iPhone, and users must also take a selfie. The information is sent to the state for verification, and once approved, users can simply scan other devices with their iPhone or Apple Watch to present their identification. Since it's all done electronically, users don't need to unlock or hand over their device. Of course, it only works in locations that are set up to connect with Apple's tech. The info is encrypted and only accessible to the user after both a face and fingerprint verification.
"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. "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."
The tech is there, but you can't use it just yet. Apple says each state will inform residents when support is in place for the tech and right now, there aren't any specific timeframes for a launch. The TSA will also announce its timeframe at a later date, so for now at least, a physical license is still very much required.