In collaboration with the State of Maryland and Google, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) now accepts Maryland-issued mobile driver’s licenses and ID cards in Google Wallet on Android mobile phones at select TSA airport security checkpoints.
TSA PreCheck passengers will be able to use this new feature at checkpoints for identity verification at 25 participating airports.
“TSA’s partnership with Google and Maryland spotlights our commitment to implementing new technologies and expanding use of mobile driver’s licenses,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske.
“This launch represents the first mobile driver’s license in Google Wallet. We continue to work closely with other states on deploying this capability across the country. TSA is committed to collaborating on international, open standards that provide enhanced security, privacy protections and offers airline passengers a more efficient and convenient travel experience.”
To present their ID in Google Wallet at select TSA checkpoints, passengers will approach the podium at the first station in the screening process. Passengers may consent to provide their mobile identification from Google Wallet by simply turning on Bluetooth and holding their Android smart phone or watch on the second-generation Credential Authentication Technology (CAT-2) reader device. The digital identity information from the mobile driver’s license is encrypted and transmitted digitally to CAT-2, where the passenger’s real-time camera photograph will be compared against the encrypted mobile identity information from Google Wallet and their reservation data that would have been on the passenger’s boarding pass.
Once the CAT-2 confirms the identity match, a TSA officer will verify the match and the passenger will proceed to security screening – without ever exchanging a boarding pass. TSA officers may perform additional passenger verification if needed. The real-time live camera photograph and the mobile identification information is not kept, transmitted or used for any purpose other than for the immediate identity verification by a TSA officer.
Passengers who do not wish to participate in facial matching can opt out in favor of an alternative identity verification process.
With IDs in Google Wallet on Android, identification data is encrypted and securely transmitted digitally, eliminating the need for passengers to show or hand over their device to a TSA officer. All passengers, including those traveling through security with a Maryland mobile 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. A physical ID may be required for identity verification.
TSA recommends that eligible travelers complete the process of adding the mobile ID to their Google Wallet before arriving at the TSA checkpoint. Only passengers with TSA PreCheck added to their boarding pass will be eligible at this time.
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 is one of the many steps TSA is taking under President Biden’s Executive Order on Transforming Customer Experience.
TSA’s interest in this technology is driven by security and privacy enhancements provided by mobile driver’s licenses compared to physical cards.