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Use your iPhone as an ID at TSA checkpoints at the airport

This has the potential to be pretty cool … I think?

Government IDs are coming soon to Apple Wallets

During Apple’s annual developer conference, some cool innovations were announced, especially as it affects the Apple Wallet feature. If you’re a frequent traveler, chances are you’ve used Apple Wallet for everything from mobile boarding passes to hotel airlines.

Apple is now working to integrate publicly issued identification into the Apple Wallet. With this, iPhone users will be able to scan their government IDs and driver’s licenses to the digital wallet. This feature is expected to roll out this fall when iOS 1

5 debuts.

Of course, it is one thing to be able to scan your ID to your smartphone, but it is a completely different matter to have it considered valid in situations where you need identification. Apple expects “participating” states to allow this to be a valid form of identification. Apple is also working with the Transportation Security Administration to enable the ability to use a digital ID at airport checkpoints.

How to use a digital Apple ID at the airport

Can this reduce the screening process?

In general, I love the concept of being able to store my state ID digitally:

  • It’s nice to not have to worry about taking your physical ID with you everywhere
  • There is always the risk of losing your physical ID, so being able to store it on your phone reduces the risk
  • Although I can understand why some people may have security concerns, I do not have it personally, because so many companies already have so much information about me, and worrying about it seems like a lost cause

That said, I’m the only one wondering if this will slow down the airport experience at some point? If passengers have both boarding passes and state ID stored in the Apple Wallet, I feel it will potentially add more seconds to the screening process. While it may not sound bad at the individual level, it does seem like it can add up when you multiply it by the number of people being screened.

Then there is the second problem that this is only valid in selected states, so this will definitely create confusion in states where it is not accepted.

Then again, it would be nice not to have to find a place to store your ID after your ID is checked, and before you go through the screening check, so that’s the benefit.

You may soon be able to clear TSA checkpoints with digital ID

The bottom line

Starting later this year, it should be possible to store selected IDs in Apple Wallet, which means you have a publicly issued digital ID. This is an exciting innovation in general, but perhaps the most exciting thing is that you can use this to remove TSA checkpoints, as Apple is working with TSA to implement this.

It would probably be nice to be able to clear security checkpoints without having to take an ID out of the (physical) wallet, although I wonder if this will reduce matters.

What do you do with the ability to use an Apple Wallet stored ID to remove TSA checkpoints? Do you want to use it?

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