How to Use an iPhone as Official ID

How to add your ID to the iPhone Wallet app

What to Know

  • Currently, only a few states will allow you to add your driver’s license to your iPhone.
  • You can also add your official ID to your Apple Watch.
  • This will be accepted by TSA in airports/other transit points, but in other situations, you should keep a physical version of your ID with you.

Can I Add My Driver’s License to My iPhone?

The short answer is yes, or it will be soon. The first states to implement this are Arizona, and Georgia which will then be followed by Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah. Others will follow at an undetermined time.

Once you’ve uploaded your ID, you’ll need to either enter a passcode or use Apple’s biometric lock to access it.

  1. Tap the Plus button at the top of the Wallet app.

  2. Choose the ID option and enter the data as prompted.

  3. Scan your ID when the app requests an image.

    Do this in a well-lit area or a flat surface, and place something of a contrasting color, like black construction paper, underneath your ID. This will help ensure a clean scan and prevent errors.

  4. Take a selfie according to the instructions, and record yourself performing the head and facial movements as requested. You may have to repeat these a few times depending on the lighting and contrast in your location.

  5. If you have Wallet on your Apple Watch, you will be alerted by your watch to add your license to that app as well, which will happen automatically.

Will My iPhone ID Replace My Driver’s License?

In most situations, you’ll still need your wallet with you. Arizona already has a similar system in place using a Mobile ID app, and they emphasize that you should have your physical license while driving. 

Instead, this system is largely designed for situations where you need to present your ID while shopping or to access certain facilities. One example Apple features prominently in its announcement is the Transportation Security Administration, which discusses touchless security screening in airports.

There’s no firm timeline for when states will make this functionality available. While Apple hasn’t discussed the inner workings of this system publicly, it’s likely coordinated with the federal standards set by the REAL ID Act of 2005. Not all states are issuing IDs that are fully compliant with those standards, which may hinder the process of being added to the Wallet app.

Finally, it’s not yet clear this will be acceptable in states that don’t currently have a mobile ID system in place. It may be up to the business or authority asking for the card, and you should have a physical ID in case they ask for one.

Will I Need to Switch to iPhone to Use My Phone as Official ID?

It’s likely that you won’t need to switch platforms, although it may take a little while for Android to catch up. Arizona’s Mobile ID app, which Apple seems to have drawn several cues from, offers both Android and iPhone versions, and Georgia has announced a similar electronic ID initiative.

  • How do I use the Apple Wallet?

    To use Apple Wallet, add things like credit cards, rewards cards, store coupons, movie passes, boarding passes, and more to keep a convenient digital copy on your phone. To add a pass with a QR code or barcode, open Wallet, scroll down, and tap Edit Passes > Scan Code. To add a credit or debit card, open Wallet, tap Add (plus sign), choose the type of card you want to add, and follow the prompts.

  • How do I remove Wallet from my iPhone?

    To remove Wallet from your home screen, press and hold the Wallet app icon and select Remove App. Wallet will remain in your App Library but won't be on the home screen. To remove a card from Wallet, go to Settings > Wallet & Apple Pay, tap the card you want to remove, and then tap Remove This Card. To remove a pass from Wallet, open Wallet, scroll down, and tap Edit Passes. On the pass you want to delete, tap the minus sign > Delete.

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