Apple is working with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to clear iPhone and Apple Watch owners with Wallet-stored IDs, but keep in mind that not all checkpoints support the digital-document tech yet.
As of this writing, the new, convenient feature is only available in two states. Don't worry, though. The Cupertino-based tech giant announced that four more states, as well as the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, are gearing up to support Wallet-stored IDs soon (h/t Apple Insider).
Which states support Apple Wallet IDs?
You may be wondering, "Which checkpoints will acknowledge my Apple Wallet-stored ID?" After all, the last thing you'd want to do is raise eyebrows at a TSA checkpoint.
In March of this year, Apple announced that Arizona is the first state to welcome its TSA-approved Wallet IDs. Residents of The Grand Canyon State can add their driver's licenses (or state IDs) to Apple Wallet and skate through select Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport TSA checkpoints with their iPhones or Apple Watches.
In late May, Maryland joined Arizona, allowing residents to present their TSA-approved, Wallet-stored IDs at select airport security checkpoints. "It's as simple as holding your device near the identity reader, confirming the information requested, and you're done," Maryland's official website stated. "Your information is presented digitally to the identity reader, so you'll never need to show or hand over your device."
To reiterate, Maryland and Arizona users don't need to physically hand over their devices to TSA agents. Instead, they'll need to present their iPhones or Apple Watches to a CAT-2 unit, a scanner that analyzes digital IDs. According to AppleInsider, CAT-2 is electronically connected to a Secure Flight database that confirms travelers' flight details and pre-screening status (e.g., TSA PreCheck).
Other states and regions that are poised to hop on the Apple Wallet ID bandwagon soon are Colorado, Hawaii, Mississippi, Ohio and Puerto Rico. It's also worth noting that American Airlines is also accepting digital IDs on iOS and Android.
According to TSA's official website, it is currently experimenting with Apple Wallet IDs in the following airports:
- Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI)
- Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
- Gulfport Biloxi International Airport (GPT)
- Harry Reid International Airport (LAS)
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
- Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport (JAN)
- Miami International Airport (MIA)
- Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC)
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
- Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
We're still a long way from all 50 states accepting TSA-approved Wallet IDs, but Apple is taking a major leap toward a future where we no longer have to dig for our physical documents. We can simply tap-and-go, making life much easier for frequent travelers.
Driver's licenses and state IDs aren't the only documents you can add to Apple Wallet. Check out our step-by-step guide that explains how users can add their COVID-19 vaccine records to Apple Wallet.
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Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!