Forgot your wallet at home? No problem! In a major development for Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, Apple announced on September 1 that eight states have registered to allow state IDs and driver licenses in users’ Apple Wallets. The feature will allow for iPhone and Apple Watch users to securely use their electronic devices for identification when traveling.


The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) also plans to outfit select airports in participating states with security checkpoints to utilize the new feature for air travel. With the TSA on board, Apple users may soon be able to shelve their physical wallet for their digital one entirely, as NFC technology continues to be implemented across industries demonstrating its ease of use and convenience. In addition, it is one of the few technologies that requires user intent – in the form of a tap – to begin operation.

While no timeline has been provided for the rollout of the new feature, the first eight participating states were announced. Arizona and Georgia will be the first states in the group to introduce this new feature, with Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah to follow.

Apple shared in an official press release that users will be able to add their license or ID similarly to how they add a credit card, ticket, or transit pass to Apple Wallet. However, in a further level of verification, the user will also be asked to scan their physical license or ID card, as well as take a “selfie” for identification. As a final security measure, every participating user will also be prompted to complete several facial and head movements to capture their face shape and angles to ensure their identity.

Apple Wallet has been using NFC technology since 2015. According to their press release, Apple currently plans for users to present their virtual license or state ID to the TSA by simply tapping their iPhone or Apple Watch at the identity reader, and then following given prompts requesting information. Users will not need to unlock, reveal their personal information, or hand their device to an employee in order to partake in the feature.

Although some may be hesitant to download their license to their Wallet app, Apple ensures that their app offers superior security over a physical wallet, which can be lost or stolen. In combination with NFC technology security measures, the combination should provide for a convenient and easy experience.

Further details haven’t been shared but it begs the question: Would your digital ID be acceptable to present to a police officer if a user is unfortunately pulled over? What about to get into a bar, or to purchase alcohol? On the NFC side, the technology is translatable; the question remains which further states and industries decide to accept virtual identification. However, with Apple’s continued utilization of NFC technology for Apple Pay, admittance to concerts and athletic events, and now the ability to store users’ primary identification all on one secure app, we can’t help but feel that you might be freeing up some pocket space in the near future.

Click here to learn more about how NFC can revolutionize the way you travel while protecting your digital identity.