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Maryland begins issuing digital driver’s licenses and 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 at two of the Washington-area 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 allow the use of the digital version of credentials in airport security corridors. Maryland is the second state to offer this option. In March, Arizona residents were allowed to store copies of their IDs in their iPhone or Apple Watch and tap the feature to present their ID at TSA checkpoints in 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 the capability to other passengers. TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said the expansion is limited by the availability of “Credential Authentication Technology” readers that TSA agents use 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

Proponents of mobile ID predict that she will eventually be accepted to enter government buildings, to buy alcoholic beverages and to show if she is stopped by the police.

The availability of mobile licenses and their acceptance as proof of identity marks an important milestone, officials said, adding that the option will improve security and privacy for ID holders, while providing a wireless option. contact at checkpoints.

“Maryland Mobile ID in Apple Wallet provides additional security and privacy benefits over Physical State ID or driver’s license because Marylanders can view 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 accepting mobile ID to increase.

More than 20 states have considered, tested, or launched digital versions of driver’s licenses. Last year, Apple announced plans to roll out driver’s licenses and state IDs to iPhone and Apple Watch in 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 driver’s licenses and IDs. The legislation would allow people to present identification in electronic form, such as on a smartphone, instead of physical identification, except where prohibited by federal law.

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles said last fall it was also looking to develop a mobile driver’s license, after successfully testing the use of digital credentials in 2016 and concluding it was “technically feasible.” to provide the option.

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

To enroll, users can tap the “plus” 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 a photo of their ID and a photo to send to MVA for verification.

Even if using the mobile ID card at the airport, passengers should continue to carry their physical driver’s license or ID card with them, the TSA said, noting that they may still be asked show the physical ID.

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