At WWDC in June, Apple unveiled its ambitious plans to allow users in participating states to store their credentials in the Wallet app. This feature was originally slated to launch this year, but was ultimately delayed until 2022. Now the Transportation Security Administration – or TSA – has announced that it plans to start accepting digital licenses from 2022 …
When support for storing credentials in Apple Wallet was first announced at WWDC in June, Apple Pay vice president Jennifer Bailey said the TSA was “working to activate” the points. airport security screening as “the first place you can use your digital ID”. This is what now seems to be happening.
This was announced by the Secure Technology Alliance last week. According to the announcement, the TSA revealed its intention to start accepting mobile driver’s licenses at airports during a recent industry panel. TSA plans to launch a pilot program at two state airports from February 2022, then expand to two more sites in March 2022.
The process will work by requiring a traveler to type their iPhone into an NFC reader or use a QR scanner:
Surveys show that travel is the number one use case people are interested in for mDL. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agrees and fully supports the mDL movement for travel authentication. TSA is preparing to begin its gradual rollout, with the integration of mDL Apple Wallet being its first step, which will allow certain security checkpoints at participating airports to be the first places people can use their mDL in the Wallet application.
During a panel on early adoption of mDL, the TSA announced its intention to begin accepting mDL use at airports in two states from February next year. The pilot program will add two more states around March 2022. The TSA says standards-based digital IDs, such as state-issued mDL, will help streamline and secure the identity verification process. Instead of TSA staff examining a physical ID card, manually comparing a traveler’s photo ID to their face, and verifying theft information, a machine will automate the process.
Travelers will simply tap an NFC reader or use a QR scanner to initiate data exchange. A TSA staff member will be present to oversee and validate the verification process.
At this point, it is not known which four airports in the United States will participate in this pilot program. Apple promised the feature would launch first in Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah.
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