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You can add your driver's license or state ID to Apple Wallet in iOS 15. Here's how

Although the prospect of ditching your physical wallet is exciting, the feature is currently only available in select US states.

Apple's identification scan and stored in iPhone Wallet

Apple's Wallet app will be able to store driver's licenses in iOS 15. 

Apple/CNET

In Apple's vision of the future, you and I would leave our homes without physical wallets. Instead we'd walk out the front door carrying only the virtual wallets stored on our iPhones. We wouldn't bring keys, either. 

That hope for the future is creeping into the present as Apple unveiled that you can now upload your driver's license to Apple Wallet in select states across the US. Arizona and Georgia will be the first to access the driver's license feature, followed by Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma and Utah. 

The feature was announced at WWDC earlier this year. It came alongside other Apple Wallet updates that allow your iPhone to hold digital versions of your house keys, hotel room keys and workplace IDs. All these changes are expected to come with iOS 15, which is said to roll out sometime in the fall. (Here's how to download the public beta version now.)

Digitizing your driver's license and other ID cards isn't a new idea. Google and chipmaker Qualcomm announced their project to store a digital driver's license in Android phones way back in 2019 -- but it appears that iPhones will begin using the new feature first. Security and privacy issues are the biggest roadblocks and areas of highest concern. Apple says it secures your IDs with the same technology and encryption backing your credit cards in Apple Pay.

Once you set up your driver's license and other ID cards in the iPhone, you'll be able to present your identification on your iPhone or Apple Watch at airport security (yes, it'll be supported by the TSA on a state-by-state basis) and any other business that accepts the new technology as proof of ID.

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How you'll scan your driver's license into your iPhone with iOS 15

We'll know more about the exact steps you'll need to take once iOS 15 is generally released. For now, we've combined instructions from Apple's presentation and website with the current Wallet app on iPhone.

Step 1: Make sure the iPhone has iOS 15 installed (Here's how to download the public beta). 

Step 2: Open the Apple Wallet app.

Step 3: Tap the + sign in the upper right corner of the screen and tap the card type, e.g. an identification card, hotel key, digital car key, transit card and so on.

Step 4: Follow the screen prompts to begin to scan your driver's license or state ID using the iPhone's camera and built-in scanner. For example, Apple will advise you to scan the front of your card first, and make sure you're in an area with plenty of bright light and a simple, dark backdrop.

Step 5: After scanning your driver's license or ID, the Wallet app will confirm when your identification is secure and ready to use.

When you use the driver's license in Apple Wallet, you'll first open the app and select your ID. If it's at a TSA airport security checkpoint, Apple has said it will show you the kind of information it'll share, including your legal name, date of birth, ID number and photo, and expiration date.

As with your other sensitive payment cards, you'll need to confirm the transfer of information through checkpoints with a pass from Face ID -- or presumably your secure passcode, if you're wearing a face mask or don't use Face ID. 

For more about iOS 15, here's how Apple fixed FaceTime's most annoying problem, how your family and friends can get you back into a locked-out iPhone, and how to find your missing AirPods if you lose them.