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9.11.21 – BALTIMORE (WBFF)

If you have an iPhone or Apple watch, Maryland is among a handful of states where you will soon be able to store your legal id or your driver’s license on your phone.

But should you?

Soon all it could take is a selfie and a picture of your license to no longer need to show the real thing, at least when you’re flying.

Eight states including Maryland will soon let anyone with an iPhone or apple watch store their ID or driver’s license in the Wallet app.

You can use that at the airport, showing it at the TSA checkpoint which will have special lanes for those customers.

“You walk up to the checkpoint. You show them your boarding pass which is already probably on your phone also, then tap your phone to the TSA terminal. What’s going to happen then is that little message will pop up on your phone. It will say the TSA wants to know some things about you,” explains Markus Rauschecker, Cybersecurity Program Director with the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security.

No longer needing your physical wallet or driver’s license may be faster and more convenient, but is it safer?

“The question is what other scenarios might this be applicable in?” Rauschecker asks.

He says people are already talking about other situations like showing ID at a bar or during police stops.

For now, the first confirmed locations for this are at TSA checkpoints.

The TSA says only those using biometric identification like face or touch ID will be able to show the digital ID.

Apple says neither the company nor states will know when or where users present their IDs and they assure customers that all data is encrypted.

“Once the data is out there, you can’t pull it back in,” says attorney Arnold Abraham, founding partner with The CyberLaw Team.

He says to read the user agreement carefully.

Personally, Abraham says he would wait a bit after the technology’s available.

“Apple devices are generally the most secure, but since the apple watch came out there have been hundreds of vulnerabilities identified since 2015. I think it was 800 vulnerabilities. So usually it’s good to let some of the kinks get worked out,” he says.

Specific details on when Marylanders can use this haven’t been finalized, but should be in the coming months.

Governor Larry Hogan says in a statement:

Maryland is proud to be a leader once again in safe innovation with the implementation of mobile driver’s licenses. As we look to the future, we are committed to enhancing convenience and accessibility while maintaining the highest safety and security standards for our state and citizens.

Fox45 also reached out to MDOT MVA. A spokesperson sent us this statement:

The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) is proud to work with Apple to provide greater accessibility and enhanced security to Maryland drivers and identification card holders. State IDs and driver’s licenses in Apple Wallet will initially just be available for use at select TSA checkpoints and lanes. The new functionality will provide more convenience for Apple Wallet users while traveling and allow better control over the user’s personal information by only sharing the driver’s license or ID card information that is required. As we strive to maintain the highest safety and security standards for our customers, MDOT MVA is working closely with Apple and TSA to implement this new technology in a manner that upholds our commitment to guarding our customers’ privacy.

Prior to this collaboration, Maryland had already begun laying the groundwork for mobile ID’s and driver’s licenses. In 2017, Governor Larry Hogan announced the launch of a pilot program to develop and implement a mobile driver’s license statewide. The earliest version, which served as a companion to the physical card, was tested by volunteers at local businesses during the two-year pilot. In 2019, the Maryland General Assembly passed House Bill 180 authorizing MDOT MVA to issue electronic credentials as the next step in making this cutting-edge technology available to all Marylanders.

Mobile driver’s licenses and ID’s in Apple Wallet will be available to Maryland residents after the implementation of the final phase of MDOT MVA’s Customer Connect IT modernization project, which provides more access to online transactions, reduces the use of paper forms and increases security. MDOT MVA is looking forward to continuing its mission to provide premier customer service and enhanced convenience in the safest way possible for all Maryland residents. We will share more information on availability at a later date.

TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein says:

TSA continues to work across industry and government stakeholders and partners on cutting edge technologies that enhance security, address the emerging threat environment and improve the passenger experience. We appreciate the enthusiasm in our forward-leaning technologies, and we will continue to work with states and industry stakeholders in bringing this to implementation. TSA anticipates that more information will be available in the near future on implementation of a phased approach to rolling out the mobile driver’s license.