However, there wasn't much information for whether this was going to be possible nationwide, or only in certain states—as it's not merely software that's involved, but the consent of individual state authorities is also necessary.
We finally have that information for you, when Apple
on Monday officially released the name of eight states that are on board to accept official IDs and driver's licenses from the Apple Wallet.
The first states that have accepted and will begin welcoming this new digital form of IDs as soon as iOS 15 is released, are Georgia and Arizona. After them, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah, are to follow close behind.
The iPhone 13 and likely iOS 15 are coming on September 14
Because the Apple event announcing the iPhone 13 is expected on September 14
, we also hope to see iOS 15 released in its full glory on that date. However, it's still unknown whether the 8 states' legal agreement to accept official documents in the Apple Wallet will go into effect on the same day, or on a later date.
The Apple Wallet may eventually also replace passports at airports
Some United States airports are also gradually joining the party of digital ID's in order to accept them at security checkpoints—although one at a time, as each airport has to be approved by the TSA (Transportation Security Adminstration) (via AppleInsider).
David Pekoske (TSA Administrator) says, "This new and innovative mobile driver's license and state ID initiative with Apple and states around the country will enable a more seamless airport security screening experience for travelers."
This initiative marks a major milestone by TSA to provide an additional level of convenience for the traveler by enabling more opportunities for touchless TSA airport security screening.
Googdbye, plastic; Hello, ... well, nothing, because you had an iPhone to begin with
If you own an iPhone, this new system seems like a much better alternative to carrying around your wallet full of important documents everywhere ago. On the Apple Wallet, you will always have immediate access in the case that you need to show them, and there is no risk of losing them like there is with a regular wallet.
In a statement regarding the update on the 8 states now on board, Apple's vice president of the Apple Wallet (yes, that's a thing) declared that "The addition of driver's licenses and state IDs to Apple Wallet is an important step in our vision of replacing the physical wallet with a secure and easy-to-use mobile wallet."
We are excited that the TSA and so many states are already on board to help bring this to life for travelers across the country using only their iPhone and Apple Watch, and we are already in discussions with many more states as we're working to offer this nationwide in the future.
Apart from allowing you to carry your ID and driver's license, the Apple Wallet of iOS 15 will also be able to hold your HomeKit keys, making home access to HomeKit users much simpler, without having to open up a separate app.