Maryland begins issuing digital driver’s licenses and ID cards

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Maryland residents can now carry a digital copy of their driver’s license or ID card on their phone, then use it to cross security checkpoints at two Washington-area airports.

The mobile credentials stored in Apple Wallet are Accepted at Baltimore-Washington International Marshall and Reagan National Airports, the Maryland Department of Motor Vehicles and Transportation Security announced Wednesday.

The TSA has been working with Apple and several states since last year to enable the digital version of credentials to be used in airport security lanes. Maryland is the second state to offer this option. In March, Arizonans were eligible to store copies of their IDs in 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 only available to passengers in TSA PreCheck lanes, but the agency is working to expand capacity to other passengers. TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said expansion is limited to availability Credential Authentication Technology readers used by TSA personnel at document check points.

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

DC is on the way to issue electronic copies of driver’s licenses

Mobile ID proponents envision that entry to government buildings will eventually be accepted to purchase alcoholic beverages and show whether they have been pulled over by the police.

The availability and acceptance of mobile phone licenses as proof of identity is a milestone, officials said, adding that this option will enhance security and privacy for identity holders, while providing a touchless option at checkpoints.

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“The Maryland Mobile ID in Apple Wallet provides additional security and privacy benefits beyond a physical ID or driver’s license because Maryland residents can review the personal information they share with others, and use biometric authentication with Face ID or Touch ID to allow it,” MVA Program Director Chrissy said. Nesr in a statement. She said the agency expects to see an increase in the number of sites accepting a mobile phone ID.

More than 20 countries have studied, tested or released digital versions of driver’s licenses. Apple last year announced plans to roll out driver’s licenses and state IDs on 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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DC Council in December Approval of legislation that would allow the city to issue electronic driving licenses and identifiers. The legislation would allow people to provide their identity in an electronic form, such as a smartphone, in lieu of a physical credential, except in cases prohibited by federal law.

The Virginia Automobile Administration said last fall that it is also looking to develop a mobile driver’s license, having successfully tested the use of digital credentials in 2016 and concluding that it was “technically feasible” to provide the option.

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

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To register, users can tap the “Plus” button at the top of the screen in Apple Wallet on their iPhone and select “Driver’s License or Country ID” and Follow the instructionswhich includes taking a picture of their ID cards and being shot in the head to send it to the MVA for verification.

The TSA said that even if mobile ID is used at the airport, passengers must still carry their actual driver’s license or ID, noting that they can still be required to show actual ID.

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