You Will Soon Be Able to Use Your Apple Wallet ID at TSA Checkpoints
It will be the first digital ID to be accepted by TSA
For years, the airline industry has been prioritizing digital self-service solutions in the name of efficiency. From mobile check-in capabilities and automated passport control kiosks to passport applications, there are very few air travel-related tasks that can’t be completed digitally. And now you won’t even have to take your license out of your wallet, as TSA has announced that it will begin accepting Apple Wallet as a means of identification starting in 2022.
Per a report from The Verge, beginning in February TSA will pilot the use of Apple Wallet IDs at two airports. If all goes well, it will expand to two more airports in March.
According to a release from the Secure Technology Allegiance, “Mobile driver’s licenses are gaining traction in at least 30 U.S. states. The progress exemplifies that the transition from physical driver’s licenses is well underway, and the future of identification documents is digital.” Surveys indicate that travel is the use case that has people most interested in mobile driver’s licenses.
“TSA says standards-based digital IDs such as state-issued [mobile driver’s licenses] will help streamline and secure the identity verification process. Instead of TSA staff examining a physical ID card, manually comparing a traveler’s ID photo to their face and verifying flight information, a machine will automate the process,” the release stated. “Travelers will simply tap an NFC reader or use a QR scanner to initiate the data exchange. A TSA staff member will be present to oversee and validate the verification process.”
It’s an exciting advancement for jet-setters, but according to an investigation by CNBC, Apple is asking individual states to assume some of the cost (read: taxpayers) and to provide customer support ahead of the launch of the digital IDs.
That said, all signs seem to point to a future in which mobile IDs are the preferred method of identification. TSA is always implementing new technology for the sake of enhancing customer service and streamlining security procedures, and it seems likely that travelers who already utilize PreCheck and Clear would gravitate toward this, too.
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