Advance Notice: Briefs

Michigan hopes to be among first states to adopt digital driver’s licenses in iOS 15

By: - June 14, 2021 7:19 am

Secretary of State office, Lansing | Susan J. Demas

Michigan hopes to be among the first states to adopt a feature coming to iPhones this fall: digital driver’s licenses.

Apple announced during their annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote recently that beginning with iOS 15, iPhone users will be able to scan their driver’s license and store the information in the Apple Wallet app.

The digital version of the state ID would function the same way a physical version would.

The feature will only be available in participating states, but Apple didn’t indicate which states have shown interest in supporting the feature.

Michigan Department of State spokesperson Tracy Wimmer said conversations haven’t started between the state and Apple, but they are interested in working to adopt the digital licenses.

“We are hopeful to be part of the first group this is rolled out with, and will be working to engage in conversations to that end,” Wimmer said.

Apple said the Transportation Security Administration is already working to enable airport security checkpoints as some of the first places the digital IDs can be used.

Eventually, support for driver’s licenses will extend beyond airports to include things like event venues.

The version of your ID found in Apple Wallet is encrypted and stored on device in a secure microprocessor chip known as Secure Element, which is also where credit card information and other sensitive data are stored.

Users will be able to see what information is being requested when their digital ID is scanned and will have to approve the data transfer using either Face ID or their password.

The update will also allow users to use the Apple Wallet app to store car and house keys for supporting vehicles and devices, corporate badges for entering an office and hotel room keycards.

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Andrew Roth
Andrew Roth

Andrew Roth is a regular contributor to the Michigan Advance and a former reporting intern. He has been covering Michigan policy and politics for three years across a number of publications and is a graduate of Michigan State University.