Maryland tests digital ID cards and driving licences for Android NFC smartphone users

Maryland physical identity card
SMART ID: Maryland residents can now create digital versions of their state ID card in Google Wallet

Android users in Maryland are the first in the US to be able to create and store digital versions of their state identity card and driving licence in Google Wallet on their NFC smartphone and use it to verify their identity at Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security checkpoints at selected airports.

Google has begun beta testing support for digital IDs and driving licences in the state, enabling residents with a compatible smartphone who sign up to the testing programme to add their digital credentials to Wallet by taking a photo of the front and back of their physical document and a short video of themselves which is then sent to issuing authorities for verification.

Once they have added their digital ID to Wallet, users can then authenticate their identity by tapping their device on an NFC terminal or allowing officials to scan the QR code on the digital credential.

“This feature is being tested in beta and some features may not work as expected,” Google says on a Wallet support page.

“It’s available to eligible users in Maryland and is accepted by the TSA at some supporting airports. To validate your identity, keep your physical ID card on you. More options to use your digital ID are coming soon.”

Google launched its multipurpose digital wallet with support for digital IDs, driving licences, tickets and payment cards in May.

Apple launched its digital IDs in Arizona in March followed by Maryland in May and Colorado in November.

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