How to Upload Your Driver’s License Onto Your iPhone

When you’re in a rush to catch a flight, there’s a lot to keep track of, including tickets, your luggage and your loved ones.

Almost all airlines will allow you to use a digital version of your boarding pass, but some states are now allowing residents to clear airport security with a digital version of their driver’s license or other approved identification.

Instead of rooting through your pocketbook, all you have to do is flash your Apple Wallet in your iPhone or Apple Watch.

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“Adding driver’s licenses and state IDs to Apple Wallet is an important step in our vision to replace the physical wallet with a secure and easy-to-use mobile wallet,” said Jennifer Bailey, vice president of Apple Pay and Apple Wallet. in a statement.

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It’s not yet a universal game changer: While 12 states have committed to digital IDs, only three have officially begun accepting them. And while the airport you depart from may accept a license on your Apple Watch, you may not be accorded the same courtesy on the return journey.

The Transportation Security Administration is already supporting the technology at select airport security checkpoints. So it’s really a matter of when, not if the option becomes standard across the country.

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Here’s what you need to know about putting your driver’s license in your Apple Wallet, including how to do it and which states recognize digital IDs.

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How do I add my driver’s license to my Apple Wallet?

Apple Wallet

To add an ID to your Apple Wallet, tap the “plus” button at the top of the screen.

Dan Avery/CNET

Apple built the technology to upload your ID to your Apple Wallet into iOS 15 for iPhone. The process is similar to how you would add a new credit card.

First, tap the “plus” button at the top of the Wallet screen. (If your Apple Watch is paired with your iPhone, it will ask you to add your license there as well.)

You’ll then scan your physical driver’s license with your iPhone’s camera and take a selfie, “which will be securely provided to the issuing state for verification,” according to Apple.

You will also be asked to complete a series of facial and head movements “as an added level of security.”

Once your ID has been verified by the issuing state, it will be added to your Wallet.

To be able to add your license or ID to Apple Wallet, you’ll need to have it issued by a participating state. In addition, you will need to:

  • iPhone 8 or later, or Apple Watch Series 4 or later, with the latest version of iOS or WatchOS
  • Face ID or Touch ID was turned on
  • Apple ID with two-factor authentication turned on
  • Your device’s region is set to US
Register Driver's License in Apple Wallet

Currently, only residents of Arizona, Colorado and Maryland can upload their licenses.

Dan Avery/CNET

Also, only passengers have TSA pre-check on their boarding passes are eligible to flash digital licenses, according to the TSA’s website, although the agency said it plans to add the option to other passengers in the future.

Only one license or ID can be added to a paired iPhone and Apple Watch at a time.

Which airports accept digital ID?

Apple first announced in 2021 that eight states were participating in the program, and then bumped the number to 12 this year.

But those are states committed to accept Apple Wallet IDs, do not do so at this time.

Currently, only Arizona, Colorado and Maryland support the digital ID feature – and only at select security checkpoints at these airports:

  • Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport
  • Baltimore/Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport
  • Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma and Utah have agreed to support the initiative, as has Puerto Rico, although specific timetables have not been announced.

Other states are expected to adopt this roster: Last year Bailey said Apple was “already in discussions with many other states.”

And in November, the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles said it was “exploring” the digital ID option.

“There is a condition that created a study committee on the idea and they are still researching,” spokeswoman Maranda Williams told The State, a news outlet of Columbia, South Carolina.

Separate from Apple’s efforts, some states allow residents to upload their driver’s license to their phones through state-run apps, like Louisiana’s LA Wallet. But these are for driving and age verification purposes and are not yet accepted by TSA.

TSA screen on the iPhone


How do I use a license stored in my Apple Wallet by TSA?

To present your digital ID, tap your iPhone or Apple Watch on the ID reader at the security checkpoint.

You will then be prompted to authenticate your identity with Face ID or Touch ID.

If successful, a tick should appear on the screen.

According to Apple, “you don’t have to unlock, show or hand over your device [to a TSA agent].”

Is this technology secure?

According to Apple, it is.

The company says the program uses the same privacy and security features already in the iPhone and Apple Watch to prevent intrusion and theft.

“Your driver’s license or state identification data is encrypted,” reads a statement on Apple’s Support website. “Neither the state issuing authority nor Apple can see when and where you use your license or ID, and biometric authentication using Face ID and Touch ID helps ensure that only you can access your license or ID to see and use.”

Digital ID is also endorsed by the TSA.

“Digital identity has the potential to strengthen airport security and improve the passenger experience by reducing touch points, providing more privacy, and more accurately verifying identities,” the agency said in a statement.

My state accepts digital IDs. Do I still need my physical permit at the airport?

Yes. The program is still in its infancy, and there is no guarantee that the checkpoint you use to accept a driver’s license will be fixed on your Apple Wallet.

“All passengers must have their physical driver’s license readily available,” according to the Transportation Security Administration website. msgstr “The TSA officer may require this physical identification in addition to the digital identification.”

Where else can I use my digital ID?

With the iOS 16 rollout in June, apps that require age or ID verification should be able to accept ID cards stored in your Apple Wallet app, Apple said. Uber Eats and the ride-sharing service Turo have been mentioned as two apps that could offer this functionality, according to MacRumors, but neither has officially done so.

Apple also said that retailers, restaurants and other venues will benefit from the feature in the future.

Police and motor vehicle departments do not currently accept digital IDs.

I have an Android phone. Can I upload my ID to Google Wallet?

In a December 2022 system update, Google announced that it was beta testing allowing Android phone users to upload their driver’s licenses to Google Wallet “for convenient, private and secure presentation.”

Google said the feature would be available in “select US state(s),” without specifying which ones or when.


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