By A.R. Cabral, Capital News Service
Marylanders traveling on an airplane may soon be able to leave their plastic state identification behind for a digital card from Apple Wallet.
The digital ID feature will only be available on Apple devices, specifically using the tech company’s Wallet application.
In 2019, Del. Kumar P. Barve, a Montgomery County Democrat who is chair of the Maryland House Environment and Transportation Committee, sponsored HB180, which would authorize the Motor Vehicle Administration to use electronic credentials in addition to a physical driver’s license.
Barve confirmed in an email that Maryland’s inclusion in Apple’s digital identification pilot program is a direct result of HB180’s passage in 2019.
Under the new law, the electronic credential is permitted to display two types of profiles: a limited profile that would only display age, a photo of the subject and “color-coded age indicator”, and a full profile, which includes more specific identification information, according to the bill.
The measure was passed unanimously in both chambers of the Maryland General Assembly and Gov. Larry Hogan, R, approved the bill in April 2019.
“Maryland is proud to be a leader once again in safe innovation with the implementation of mobile driver’s licenses,” Hogan said in a press release distributed by Apple earlier this month.
“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,” the governor said.
The Transportation Security Administration will announce when the electronic credential will be implemented in the near future as a phased-in approach continues, according to TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein.
Other states introducing the digital identification program through Apple Inc. include Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Utah, according to Apple.