Maryland residents will now be able to store their driver’s license or state ID in the Apple Wallet app, Apple announced today. The state is now the second in the U.S. to support the new feature, following the launch in Arizona in March. Once loaded into Apple Wallet, Marylanders will be able to present their ID using their iPhone or Apple Watch to select TSA Security checkpoints at local airports.
Initially, the TSA Security checkpoints at Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) will support these new digital IDs.
To get started with loading a supported ID into the Apple Wallet app, Maryland residents will first tap the plus “+” button at the top of the screen in the iPhone app then choose “Driver’s License or State ID,” and follow the on-screen instructions to start the setup and verification process. The person is verified by taking a selfie, then by scanning both the back and front of their existing driver’s license or state ID card.
There’s also an additional fraud prevention step that asks users to complete a series of facial and head movements during the setup process. The app will present a camera view where the user will need to turn their head to the side. This is a common way that digital services verify a person is actually real and that the user has not held up a photograph to the camera in an attempt to commit fraud.
As Apple previously explained, these scans and the user’s photo are securely provided to the issuing state for verification. Apple additionally sends a numeric indicator of its confidence that the person presenting the ID is the owner of the ID. It does not send the video of the person moving their head, as had been requested during verification.
This whole approval process generally only takes a few minutes and users will be notified when their ID becomes available in Wallet, similar to how you’re alerted after adding a new credit card.
The ID can then be used at the supported TSA checkpoints on iPhone or Apple Watch via the new identity readers. After authorizing with Face ID or Touch ID, the requested information is released from the device digitally. Users don’t have to hand over their phone or watch to the TSA agent.
“Maryland is proud to be a leader once again in safe innovation with the implementation of Maryland Mobile ID in Apple Wallet,” said Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, in a statement about the launch. “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.”
The press release noted that the Maryland Mobile ID, as the state is calling the new digital ID, is the only form of mobile phone-based identification issued by MDOT MVA. The digital ID is also only available to individuals with a current, valid Maryland-issued driver’s license or ID and it is meant to serve as a companion to the physical, plastic driver’s license or ID — not as a replacement. In other words, the feature won’t allow Marylanders to skip the trip to their local MDOT MVA office to acquire a license or ID.
According to MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer, the state expects the number of locations accepting this mobile ID to grow over time, but for now, the select TSA checkpoints are the only places it can be used.