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In a move towards digitizing identification, Georgia has joined the ranks of Arizona, Maryland, and Colorado as the fourth U.S. state to allow residents to add their driver’s license or state ID to the Wallet app on the iPhone and Apple Watch. This new feature offers a convenient and contactless way for Georgia residents to display proof of identity or age.
While the announcement of this feature was made back in September 2021, its rollout has been relatively slow. However, as of March, Georgia residents can now add their ID to the Wallet app by simply tapping the “+” button in the top-right corner of the app and following the on-screen instructions. It is important to note that the digital version of the ID is meant to complement the physical card and not serve as a replacement, so residents must still carry their physical driver’s license or ID card with them.
The feature is currently available only in the United States and requires an iPhone 8 or later running iOS 15.4 or later, or an Apple Watch Series 4 or later running watchOS 8.4 or later. Apple has not yet indicated whether this feature will expand to other countries in the future.
Residents who wish to add their ID to the Wallet app should keep in mind that it may take up to 48 hours for Georgia to appear as an option in Apple Wallet, according to the state’s press release. So, patience is advised if the feature is not immediately available.
Currently, the IDs stored in the Wallet app can be presented at select Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints in certain U.S. airports. Travelers are advised to check the signage at TSA checkpoints to confirm the availability of this feature. Georgia’s FAQ on the feature specifically mentions its support at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Once a driver’s license or ID is added to the Wallet app, users can simply tap their iPhone or Apple Watch on an identity reader at a TSA checkpoint, eliminating the need to take out their physical card. Upon tapping, users will see a prompt on their device displaying the specific information requested by the TSA. Only after authorizing with Face ID or Touch ID will the requested identity information be released from the device, as per Apple’s protocol.
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A notable aspect of this feature is that users do not need to unlock, show, or hand over their device to a TSA officer when presenting their mobile driver’s license or ID. This further streamlines the process and enhances convenience for travelers, as highlighted by Apple.
Apple emphasizes that privacy and security are fundamental to this feature. When adding an ID to the Wallet app, users are required to take a secure photo of their face, which is then provided to the issuing state for verification. Additionally, users are prompted to perform a series of facial and head movements during the setup process, ensuring an added layer of security.
As the adoption of digital IDs gains traction, Georgia’s decision to integrate driver’s licenses and IDs into the Wallet app is a significant step. While the feature is currently limited to select U.S. states and airports, it sets the stage for a potential future expansion of digital identification on mobile devices.