Digital Drivers’ Licenses Now Available on Androids’ Google Wallet

by SharonKurheg

Driver’s licenses are the de facto identity document for many U.S. citizens, and with good reason. They can be used for everything from entering bars to proving one’s identity to law enforcement. And, of course, if you’re flying domestically, they’re how you prove that you’re the person with that boarding pass.

For years, the goal for many was to have driver’s licenses available in digital form. They would have the benefits of more flexibility and faster automated updates. They can’t get stolen or misplaced as easily. Those reasons, in turn, would save people time and money.

Apple announced plans in 2021 to have digital copies of driver’s licenses available on iPhones. 9to5Mac reported in December, 2021 that as per data compiled by the Secure Technology Alliance, nearly 30 states and 2 territories were exploring support for Apple’s digital ID in Wallet:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Puerto Rico
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington D.C.
  • Wyoming

At the time, of the 30, only 7, Arizona, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah were committed to supporting the venture. To date, only 4 states support ID in Apple Wallet (Apple’s app for coupons, boarding passes, student ID cards, government ID cards, business credentials, resort passes, car keys, home keys, event tickets, public transportation passes, store cards, credit cards, and debit cards for use via Apple Pay) – Arizona, Colorado, Georgia and Maryland (other states have their own version of digital driver’s licenses, but they may not necessarily be integrative with Apple Wallet, and are instead on their own respective app).

Residents who live in those states and use iPhones could use their mobile driver’s license as their actual ID at select airports across the country.

However, Android users didn’t have such a program…until now.

Google has expanded its flavor of a “wallet” app (called [are you sitting down?] Google Wallet) and effective October 18th, residents of Arizona, Colorado, Georgia and Maryland who have Android phones are all able to add their state ID or driver’s license to their Google Wallet (Maryland actually got the feature first, back in June). With that, users will be able to use a digital ID stored in Google Wallet at TSA PreCheck lines at select airports.

Of course, just like with Apple Wallet, Digital IDs that are added to Google Wallet are encrypted; that way no one will have access to personal information stored there unless you choose to share it with them. Authentication such as a fingerprint is needed to unlock to access the ID. Users are also able to select which information fields they share when they present their digital ID.

Here’s how to add your state ID or driver’s license to Google Wallet (heads up that you need to be running Android 8 or newer):

If your phone is lost or stolen, you can delete your digital ID remotely via your Google account settings. You can also ask your state’s DMV to remove the ID from Google Wallet.

Google’s plan is to offer more ways to use digital ID later this year, such as for renting a car through an app. The idea is that the app will only gain access to necessary information, such as your name and driving eligibility.

No word on when other states will be able to add their digital ID or driver’s license to their Apple or Google Wallet.

Of course, there are plenty of people who are skeptical about having their driver’s license or state ID in digital form, not the least of which is privacy if hackers were to infiltrate the system. Since we’ve seen nearly every system out there, including government systems, get hacked, those fears are not unfounded. Fortunately, at least for now, having a digital version of your driver’s license is still “not the norm” and using a physical copy is not only welcome but strongly encouraged.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Stan October 25, 2023 - 10:13 am

What Google needs is to protect Wallet with additional security measure. Password, fingerprint, face recognition. Right now, anyone can get into Wallet if the phone is open.

Rob Shaw October 25, 2023 - 10:47 am

On my pixel 7 pro, right now using the phone if I go to wallet I have to use my fingerprint to unlock it. Maybe you have a setting you need to update?

Sergio G salinas jr October 25, 2023 - 2:12 pm

Can u please send. Me a digital license or a updates one thanks for ur time

SharonKurheg October 25, 2023 - 2:17 pm

Sorry, but no, we aren’t able to do that. If you live in one of the states that offers digital drivers licenses, you’ll need to contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles office. Good luck!

DocDra October 26, 2023 - 11:05 am

This was available long before October 18th, but only one state was listed as an option – Maryland. As of 10/18, the other three states were added.

askmrlee November 6, 2023 - 2:04 am

California’s mobile drivers license app which is in pilot is a stand alone app that requires facial recognition to open. A passcode cannot be used. It’s accepted by TSA where mobile ID’s are accepted.


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