Starting Wednesday, Arizona residents with a TSA PreCheck can present their digital driver’s license or state ID by tapping their iPhone or Apple Watch at designated Transportation Security Administration checkpoints at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. However, They will still need their actual ID to fly home if they are traveling to a country that is not in the Apple program – in other words, another state in the country.
iPhone users will also still need to show their actual identity, for example, by entering a tape, notarizing documents, or showing law enforcement at traffic stops, both in other states and Arizona. Apple said it is exploring more ways for people to use digital verification in the future.
The launch is part of Apple’s ongoing efforts to boost support for its digital wallet. Apple already offers features like digital credit cards, movie tickets, car keys, boarding passes, and gift cards. These features promise an extra layer of convenience, push iOS users deeper into its ecosystem of services, and make the iPhone more central to our lives.
To ensure that the ID is official, the user will have to take a selfie after scanning and upload a photo of their driver’s license or government ID card. The user will also be asked to complete facial and head movements, similar to the way Face ID is activated. According to Apple, the upload will be “securely provided” for the state for verification.
Once activated and approved, users can tap their iPhone or Apple Watch on the ID reader at the security checkpoint and the agent will see the information required to fly. It works similar to how people use a wallet to make purchases from card readers.
On their iPhone or Apple Watch, users will be shown the specific information requested by the TSA. The user can consent to provide this information using Face ID or Touch ID, without having to unlock their iPhone. All information is shared digitally, so users do not need to show or hand over their devices to provide their identity.
Driver’s license and status ID support is available on Apple Wallet on iPhone 8 or later running iOS 15.4, and Apple Watch Series 4 or later running watchOS 8.4 or later.
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