The digital ID is a voluntary and additional option on top of your current physical license or ID. For now, it’ll mostly be used at TSA Pre-Check security lines at local airports—Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).
How to add it to your iPhone
To add Maryland’s Digital ID to the Wallet app, you’ll need an iPhone 8 or later with at least iOS 15.4. If you’re an Apple Watch user, it needs to be at least a Series 4 with watchOS 8.4. You must activate your Face ID and Touch ID. You need to ensure your Apple ID has two-factor authentication turned on. Then, follow these instructions:
- Open the Wallet app on your iPhone then tap the + icon;
- Tap your Maryland ID;
- Scan the front of the ID and then the back;
- Confirm you are you by using the front camera;
- Take a photo, then send it to Maryland’s MVA.
Once the MVA verifies and approves your information, you can start using your Digital ID at selected TSA checkpoints. This is a similar procedure to how you’re alerted after adding a new credit card.
How to use it
To display your ID in Apple Wallet, just “tap your iPhone or Apple Watch at the TSA’s Credential Authentication Technology reader at the travel document checking podium,” the TSA said in a press release. “The TSA officer will then verify the passenger’s identity and flight status for a secure, fast, convenient, and touchless identity verification experience.”
The TSA says identification data is encrypted and transmitted digitally, “eliminating the need for passengers to show or hand over their device to a TSA officer.”
Getting up to speed
According to MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer, the state expects the number of locations accepting this mobile ID to grow over time; currently, the select TSA checkpoints are the only places it can be used. And because the new technology will take a while to catch on, you’ll still need to carry a physical ID for a bit longer.
For now, law enforcement will not accept digital IDs, but could eventually. Restaurants, bars and retailers haven’t indicated whether they’re going to adapt in accepting this new form of identification to purchase alcohol or tobacco.
Resources: DCist, 9to5 Mac, Apple, Inc., TechCrunch, DealNews