Business travelers with an iPhone (or Apple Watch) will soon be able to experience a more convenient, touchless security experience at the airport. The TSA just announced plans to accept digital copies of driver’s licenses and state IDs at security checkpoints at participating airports.
The new policy will roll out in 8 states to start - beginning with Arizona and Georgia, and then Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma and Utah. Residents will be permitted to present a digital copy of their state ID. This new policy aims to usher in a more seamless, touchless airport experience for travelers.
The process is straightforward. There’s a simple verification process to add your ID to Apple Wallet. First, you’ll scan your physical driver’s license or state ID card and take a selfie, which will be sent to the issuing state for further verification. A prompt will then guide you through a series of facial and head movements to complete the verification.
Once you’re verified, you’ll be able to “tap” your iPhone or Apple Watch at an identity reader at airport checkpoints. Then, you’ll simply use Face ID or Touch ID to complete the security process. At no time will you be asked to produce or hand over your physical driver’s license.
If the initial rollout goes well, expect other states to follow suit. No more fumbling through your bag to find your ID or worry that you’ve left it at home. And while this technology has been in the works for quite some time, we can thank the pandemic for accelerating technology that should prove to decrease friction at the airport for business travelers.