These Are the First U.S. States to Get Support for Digital IDs on iPhone

By Bill Toulas / September 2, 2021

Apple has announced the first U.S. states that will be eligible to adopt digital IDs and driver’s licenses on the Wallet app, and they are Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah. The first wave of support is being rolled out to these relatively smaller states in terms of population - but combined, they count over 35 million residents.

The goal is to make it easier and more convenient for these people to use their iPhone and Apple Watch in order to produce official identification documents on security checkpoints like in airports, for example. This would make the screening process faster, so everyone (including the users, the non-users, and the authorities) has to gain from it.

People in the eligible states may simply open their Wallet app, tap the + button, and add their license or ID. The device will then enter a scanning mode by activating the camera, while the user will also have to take a selfie and go through a series of movements as directed as a security verification step. The uploaded documents will then be verified by the issuing state, and once this is done, they will be activated on the Wallet.

Source: Apple

As Apple explains, keeping your documents in the Wallet app is a superior approach for security over using a physical wallet, and the way it works ensures total privacy for the holders. The company doesn’t get any info about when and where the users present their documents, and all data that is stored in the app is encrypted and safe from tampering or theft. To produce the documents, the app will request biometric authentication, so nobody would be able to impersonate the owner unless they have a way to trick Face ID.

Source: Apple

Moreover, in the cases where the authorities use an identity reader device, the Wallet will pass the needed info digitally through encrypted data exchange, so nothing will be actually shown to the person. An automated system may request a specific set of information required for the occasion, and the Wallet will send precisely that set in digital form. This ensures total privacy even towards the state agent who is performing the checks and makes the verification faster.

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