Maryland Begins Issuing Driver’s Licenses and Digital ID Cards

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Maryland residents can now carry a digital version of their driver’s license or ID card on their phone and then use it to pass through security checkpoints at two of the Washington region’s airports.

Mobile credentials stored in Apple Wallet are acceptable at Baltimore-Washington International Marshall and Reagan National airports, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration and Transportation Security Administration announced Wednesday.

The TSA has been working with Apple and several states since last year to enable the use of the digital version of the credentials in airport security lanes. Maryland is the second state to offer the option. Arizonans in March were eligible to store copies of their IDs on their iPhone or Apple Watch, and take advantage of the feature to present their ID at TSA checkpoints at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Federal officials said the technology is available only to passengers in TSA PreCheck lanes, but the agency is working to expand the capacity to other passengers. TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said the expansion is limited by the availability of “Credential Authentication Technology” readers used by TSA officers at document checkpoints.

Washington Dulles International Airport does not have the technology to accept mobile driver’s licenses, Farbstein said.

DC is on track to issue electronic versions of driver’s licenses

Supporters of mobile ID anticipate that it will eventually be accepted to enter government buildings, to buy alcoholic beverages and to show if stopped by police.

The availability of mobile licenses and their acceptance as proof of identity marks a milestone, officials said, adding that the option will enhance the security and privacy of ID holders, while providing a contactless option at checkpoints. .

“Maryland Mobile ID in Apple Wallet offers additional security and privacy benefits than physical status ID or driver’s license because Marylanders can review the personal information they share with others and use biometric authentication with Face ID or Touch ID. to authorize it,” MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer said in a statement. She said the agency expects the number of locations that accept mobile ID to grow.

More than 20 states have considered, tested, or launched digital versions of driver’s licenses. Apple last year announced plans to roll out driver’s licenses and state IDs to the iPhone and Apple Watch as part of a partnership with several states, including Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma and Utah.

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The DC Council approved legislation in December that would allow the city to issue electronic IDs and driver’s licenses. The legislation would allow people to present an ID in an electronic format, such as on a smartphone, instead of a physical credential, except where prohibited by federal law.

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles said Thursday that it is making progress on developing a mobile ID option that it hopes to launch next year. The agency successfully tested the use of digital credentials in 2016 and concluded that it was “technically feasible” to provide the option.

In Maryland, residents with a valid state ID or license can get mobile in Apple Wallet on an iPhone 8 or later, or Apple Watch Series 4 or later, with the latest operating software.

To enroll, users can tap the “more” button at the top of the screen in Apple Wallet on their iPhone and select “Driver’s License or State ID” and follow the instructions, which include taking a photo of their ID and a headshot to send to the MVA for verification.

Even if they use mobile ID at the airport, passengers must continue to have their physical driver’s license or ID card, the TSA said, noting they could still be asked to show physical identification.

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