Maryland begins issuing digital driver’s licenses and ID cards
The TSA has been working with Apple and several states since last year to enable the digital version of credentials to be used in airport security lanes. Maryland is the second state to offer this option. In March, Arizonans were eligible to store copies of their IDs in their iPhone or Apple Watch, and take advantage of the feature to present their ID at TSA checkpoints at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Federal officials said the technology is only available to passengers in TSA PreCheck lanes, but the agency is working to expand capacity to other passengers. TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said expansion is limited to availability Credential Authentication Technology readers used by TSA personnel at document check points.
Farbstein said Washington Dulles International Airport does not have the technology to accept mobile driver licenses.
DC is on the way to issue electronic copies of driver’s licenses
Mobile ID proponents envision that they will eventually be accepted into government buildings to buy alcoholic beverages and show whether they have been pulled over by the police.
The availability and acceptance of mobile phone licenses as proof of identity is a milestone, officials said, adding that this option will enhance security and privacy for identity holders, while providing a touchless option at checkpoints.
“The Maryland Mobile ID in Apple Wallet provides additional security and privacy benefits beyond a physical ID or driver’s license because Maryland residents can review the personal information they share with others, and use biometric authentication with Face ID or Touch ID to allow it,” MVA Program Director Chrissy said. Nesr in a statement. She said the agency expects to see an increase in the number of sites accepting a mobile phone ID.
More than 20 countries have studied, tested or released digital versions of driver’s licenses. Apple last year announced plans to roll out driver’s licenses and state IDs on the iPhone and Apple Watch as part of a partnership with several states, including Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma and Utah.
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The Metropolitan Council in December approved legislation that would allow the city to issue driver’s licenses and electronic ID cards. The legislation would allow people to provide identification in an electronic form, such as a smartphone, in place of a physical credential, except when prohibited by federal law.
The Virginia Automobile Administration said last fall that it is also looking to develop a mobile driver’s license, having successfully tested the use of digital credentials in 2016 and concluding it was “technically feasible” to provide the option.
In Maryland, residents with a valid state ID or license can get the mobile option in Apple Wallet on an iPhone 8 or later, or an Apple Watch Series 4 or later, with the latest driver version.
To register, users can tap the “plus” button at the top of the screen in Apple Wallet on their iPhone, select “Driver’s License or Status ID” and follow the instructions, which include taking a picture of their ID and a headshot to send to the MVA for verification.
The TSA said that even if mobile ID is used at the airport, passengers must still carry their actual driver’s license or ID, noting that they can still be required to show physical ID.