The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), in collaboration with the State of Maryland and Apple, deployed a new technology that allows airline passengers to use their Maryland-issued mobile driver’s license or mobile identification card in Apple Wallet to safely and seamlessly present and verify their identity for airport security screening purposes at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall (BWI) and Ronald Reagan Washington National (DCA) airports. Maryland joins Arizona as the second state to offer this feature.
Starting today, individuals with driver’s licenses or state IDs issued by Maryland will be able to add a digital version of their license or ID to Apple Wallet and present it at TSA airport security checkpoints for identity verification purposes if they are enrolled in TSA PreCheck® and are using a TSA PreCheck designated checkpoint lane.
“This marks another milestone in TSA’s efforts to continue providing a secure and seamless airport security screening process at BWI,” said Christopher Murgia, TSA’s Federal Security Director for BWI. “Mobile device technologies are continually evolving to provide a safer experience for residents, and TSA is committed to expanding use of these technologies wherever possible to enhance airport security and facilitate greater accuracy in identity verification at TSA checkpoints.”
To present their ID in Apple Wallet, passengers will simply tap their iPhone or Apple Watch at the TSA’s Credential Authentication Technology reader at the travel document checking podium. The TSA officer will then verify the passenger’s identity and flight status for a secure, fast, convenient and touchless identity verification experience.
With driver’s license and state ID in Apple Wallet, identification data is encrypted and transmitted digitally, eliminating the need for passengers to show or hand over their device to a TSA officer. All passengers, including those traveling through BWI and DCA with a Maryland driver’s license or state ID, must continue to carry and have readily available their physical driver’s license or identification card, or other acceptable ID listed on the TSA website. This physical ID may be required by the TSA officer.
TSA recommends that eligible travelers complete the process of adding a mobile ID to their Apple Wallet before arriving at the TSA checkpoint. Only passengers with TSA PreCheck added to their boarding pass will be eligible at this time, with the capability to roll out to other passengers soon.
TSA introduced the concept of the mobile driver’s license in April 2021 with a notice in the Federal Register and a press release announcing a request for information regarding mobile driver’s licenses. This effort is one of the steps TSA is taking under President Biden’s Executive Order on Transforming Customer Experience. TSA’s interest in this technology is driven by potential security and privacy enhancements provided by mobile driver’s licenses compared to physical cards. In addition, touchless identity verification will have health and safety benefits in response to the pandemic.