In early 2022, Apple delayed the launch of its digital ID feature which includes driver’s license and digital identification for users. It is expected to launch by the end of 2021 but Apple has updated its website to reflect the development of iOS 15 and the WatchOS 8. version earlier this year at WWDC.
The feature is US-specific for now and will operate in participating states because not all states accept virtual IDs in the US. This means not all users in the US will be able to access the feature with the iOS 15 feature, because it may take some time for the feature to work as states add support. The development was first reported by Mac Rumors. The report notes that Apple did not provide a specific release date for the release in early 2022 and that the feature does not work in the latest iOS 15.2 beta.
Apple has announced that the feature will allow users to use its Wallet application to store their digital identity for use in the airport security areas of the system depending on the user’s supported location. Apple has speculated that adding an ID would be as easy as opening the Wallet application. Users will need to scan the front and back of the card, and it will automatically install. When enabled, the feature will allow users to scan their license or state ID into their iPhones. This essentially means that the new virtual IDs will work the same way as the physical ID card.
Apple notes that while adding a driver’s license or state ID to the Wallet application, users will need to take a photo of their face which will provide to the issuing state for certification. Apple also requires users to complete a series of facial and head movements during the setup process.
Apple’s plan to replace physical documents such as driver’s licenses with an upgrade to the Apple Wallet, in some ways, is similar to digital certification in India. The Government of India introduced DigiLocker back in 2015, a platform to issue and verify digital documents and certificates and to eliminate the use of physical documents, encouraging undocumented government. DigiLocker provides access to authentic documents and allows users to store documents such as driver’s licenses, PAN cards, voter IDs, policy documents, among others. DigiLocker is a subsidiary of the Electronics & IT (MeitY) Company under Digital India Corporation (DIC).