Apple's Kevin Lynch Explains How IDs Will Work on Apple Watch in watchOS 8

With the iOS 15 and watchOS 8 updates, Apple is allowing U.S. users to add their state ID cards or driver's licenses to the Wallet app, alleviating the need for a physical ID card to be carried.

Apple Watch ID Feature
Apple's VP of Technology, Kevin Lynch, oversees much of the Apple Watch's design and he recently did an interview with Yahoo Finance to explain how it works and the plans that Apple has for the feature in the future.

To start with, ID cards will be able to be added to the Wallet app in certain states, and Apple has not provided details on which states will be participating at this time. Apple also plans to work with the TSA to allow the digital ID cards to be used in lieu of a physical card.

"We're early on this, obviously," said Lynch. ""You'll be able to have it in your Wallet. You can see your ID there like your other cards. And then you can present that if you choose to, for example, TSA."

Lynch went on to explain that it's similar to how Apple Pay works. "You can digitally present it," he said, "and the information can show up for the person who is looking at your ID."

Apple plans to manage which information is available to which person, similar to the Health app. Apple won't be able to track where an ID has been shown, nor will the state that provides the ID be able to see that information. License information will be protected with a passcode, much like debit and credit cards.

Along with ID integration, Apple is adding new features that will let users lock, unlock, and start their cars from their Apple Watches in an expansion of the Car Key feature that's already available. "It's a lot of fun to be able to just walk up to your car and have it unlock and then drive," said Lynch.

Apple also plans to add support for various smart locks, allowing digital house keys to be stored in the Wallet app, plus this feature will also work with hotels that participate in Apple's new digital key initiative.

For licenses and IDs, Apple likely will need to navigate different rules and agreements with each state, and we won't know until later in the year which states will support the initiative at launch. Digital IDs are baked into ‌iOS 15‌ and ‌watchOS 8‌, which are launching publicly this fall.

Related Roundup: watchOS 8

Top Rated Comments

Apple_Robert Avatar
22 weeks ago
I hope my state gets on board with this (and insurance cards) before the century is out. lol I would welcome not having to carry a wallet around.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AppleFan91 Avatar
22 weeks ago

I can't imagine a world where I get pulled over by a cop and then hand them my unlocked iPhone. Ditto for going through a TSA line. I sincerely hope they're thinking much beyond that type of interaction. Hopefully something NFC based.
I would assume it’s like Apple Pay. It unlocks for that “transaction” but the rest of the phone is inaccessible.

like if you are on your Lock Screen and double press to bring up your card/ID it shows it but if you try to swipe up to get into the phone, it’s needs Face/Touch ID again.

Also, as privacy focused as Apple is, I’d be shocked if they had that as an oversight.

on another note - as someone who lives in Indiana (ugh) this will be exciting in 2076.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Localcelebrity Avatar
22 weeks ago
I can't imagine a world where I get pulled over by a cop and then hand them my unlocked iPhone. Ditto for going through a TSA line. I sincerely hope they're thinking much beyond that type of interaction. Hopefully something NFC based.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Think|Different Avatar
22 weeks ago
This is amazing! Gotta start somewhere.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DotCom2 Avatar
22 weeks ago
My forehead hurts from so many facepalms on some of the "what if’s" I’ve read here!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jcswim312 Avatar
22 weeks ago
Very excited for this feature!

Right now I have Apple’s wallet case that attaches to the back of my iPhone 12 and I use it to hold both my Apple Card (credit card) and my driver’s license but it would be great to also have a digital version of my driver’s license that I can store on both my phone and my watch
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

apple wallet drivers license feature

Apple Imposing Strict Terms on U.S. States for Digital IDs in Wallet App

Monday November 15, 2021 6:46 am PST by
Apple's agreement with U.S. states looking to add digital ID cards such as driver's licenses to the Wallet app includes strict terms and charges footed to the taxpayer, according to fintech consultant Jason Mikula and CNBC. The ability to add a driver's license or ID to the Wallet app is a new feature in iOS 15. Customers will be able to tap the plus icon at the top of the Wallet app to add...
apple wallet drivers license feature

Florida Plans to Join These U.S. States That Will Let You Add Your Driver's License to Your iPhone

Thursday October 14, 2021 8:22 am PDT by
Florida plans to make a digital ID app available to residents on the App Store in mid-November, and the state is working with Apple to also make the digital IDs available in the Wallet app on the iPhone and Apple Watch, according to Florida Politics. Last month, Apple revealed the first U.S. states that will be rolling out the ability for residents to add their driver's license or state ID...
apple wallet drivers license feature

Apple Delays iOS 15 Feature for Adding Your Driver's License to Your iPhone Until Early 2022

Tuesday November 23, 2021 9:35 am PST by
Apple recently updated its website to indicate that an upcoming iOS 15 and watchOS 8 feature that will let you add your driver's license or state ID to your iPhone and Apple Watch in participating U.S. states has been delayed until early 2022. Apple previously said the feature would launch in late 2021. In September, Apple said Arizona and Georgia would be among the first states to introduce ...
apple wallet drivers license

Apple Announces First U.S. States That Will Let You Add Your Driver's License to Your iPhone

Wednesday September 1, 2021 6:15 am PDT by
Apple today announced the first U.S. states that will be rolling out the ability for residents to add their driver's license or state ID to the Wallet app on the iPhone and Apple Watch. Arizona and Georgia will be the first states to support the feature, with Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah to follow, according to Apple. Apple said select TSA security checkpoints in ...
f1623086988

You'll Be Able to Add Your Driver's License to Your iPhone in Select States Starting With iOS 15

Monday June 7, 2021 10:37 am PDT by
Apple today announced that some users will be able to add their driver's license or state IDs to the Wallet app in iOS 15 this fall. This will be available in select states in the United States. If supported, you'll be able to scan your ID and store it directly in the Wallet app. Apple is working with the TSA to enable airport security checkpoints as the first place customers can user their...
apple id website 1

Apple ID Website Gets Design Overhaul

Thursday November 4, 2021 10:19 am PDT by
Apple has redesigned its Apple ID website, introducing an entirely new look that's much more modern and clean than the prior design that was used. The Apple ID landing page has been updated with a new dot and Apple logo design, along with information on what the Apple ID website can be used for. The prior design was graphics heavy, featuring a large banner with people using various Apple...
vaccine card ios 15 1

iOS 15.1 Beta Lets Users Add COVID Vaccination Card to Wallet App

Tuesday September 21, 2021 10:54 am PDT by
The iOS 15.1 beta that was introduced today allows iPhone users to upload their COVID-19 vaccination status to the Health app and then generate a vaccination card in Apple Wallet. The Apple Wallet vaccination card can be shown to businesses, venues, restaurants, and more that are requiring vaccines for entry. As outlined in an announcement to developers, verifiable health records are...
genesis gv70 nfc key

Apple Preparing to Support Digital Car Keys for Genesis Vehicles

Tuesday September 21, 2021 2:45 pm PDT by
Last year, Apple debuted support for digital car keys, which let users lock, unlock, and start their vehicles using a pass stored in the Wallet app on the iPhone. And with iOS 15, there's now Ultra Wideband support on the iPhone 11 and later that will let the feature work without having to remove your iPhone from your pocket. Car manufacturers need to add the NFC technology to their vehicles ...

Popular Stories

Mac Notebook Upgrade Program

Apple Introduces New MacBook Upgrade Program for Business Partners

Monday November 29, 2021 7:38 am PST by
In association with CIT as the financing partner, Apple has launched a new Mac Upgrade Program for small businesses and Apple business partners that allow companies to easily distribute and upgrade their fleets of MacBooks at an affordable price to all of their workers. As outlined on CIT's website, shared by Max Weinbach, Apple Business Partners can distribute the 13-inch MacBook Pro,...
General cyber monday 20 sale feature

Best Cyber Monday Deals for AirPods, Apple Pencil, iMac, More

Monday November 29, 2021 4:19 am PST by
With Black Friday over, Cyber Monday 2021 is now in full swing and you can find many of the same sales as last week on Apple products like AirPods, Apple Pencil, and iPad Pro. In this article we're focusing on the best Cyber Monday discounts on Apple products like these and more. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we...
2017 apple tv

Cyber Monday: Original Apple TV 4K Drops to $99.99 for Amazon Prime Members

Monday November 29, 2021 12:01 pm PST by
We've been tracking Apple product and accessory deals for Cyber Monday 2021 today, and now Woot is offering a solid discount on the previous generation 32GB Apple TV 4K. You can get this device in new condition for just $99.99 if you're an Amazon Prime member. Note that this sale will last for one day only. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
iPhone SE Cosmopolitan Clean

New iPhone SE Reportedly on Track for Release in First Quarter of 2022

Tuesday November 30, 2021 8:08 am PST by
Apple plans to release a third-generation iPhone SE in the first quarter of 2022, according to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce. If this timeframe proves to be accurate, we can expect the device to be released by the end of March. As previously rumored, TrendForce said the new iPhone SE will remain a mid-range smartphone with added support for 5G:In terms of product development, Apple is...
maxresdefault

Five Features to Look Forward to in the 2022 MacBook Air

Tuesday November 30, 2021 1:51 pm PST by
In 2022, Apple is going to release an updated version of the MacBook Air with some of the biggest design changes that we've seen since 2010, when Apple introduced the 11 and 13-inch size options. In the video below, we highlight five features that you need to know about the new machine. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. No More Wedge Design - Current MacBook...
telsa cyberwhistle

Elon Musk Urges Customers to Buy 'Tesla Cyberwhistle' Instead of Apple Polishing Cloth

Wednesday December 1, 2021 4:01 am PST by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has encouraged customers to buy the "Cyberwhistle" for $50 instead of Apple's much-discussed Polishing Cloth. The product page, which Musk shared on Twitter on Tuesday evening, offers a limited edition stainless steel whistle with the same distinctive design of the Tesla Cybertruck:Inspired by Cybertruck, the limited-edition Cyberwhistle is a premium collectible made from ...
General cyber monday 20 sale feature 2

Best Cyber Monday Apple Accessory Deals Available Today

Monday November 29, 2021 6:41 am PST by
We started sharing deals on Apple products for Cyber Monday 2021 earlier today, and now we're tracking deals and bargains available from all of the best Apple accessory companies. Similar to Black Friday, you can expect Cyber Monday savings from Twelve South, Nomad, Belkin, Casetify, and many more. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and...
iphone holiday

Best Black Friday iPhone Deals Still Available

Friday November 26, 2021 4:58 am PST by
Cellular carriers have always offered big savings on the newest iPhone models during the holidays, and Black Friday 2021 sales have now carried over into Cyber Monday as well. Right now we're tracking notable offers on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro devices from AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. For even more savings, keep an eye on older models like iPhone SE. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate...
airpods prototype translucent

Transparent AirPods and 29W Power Adapter Prototypes Surface in Photos

Tuesday November 30, 2021 7:16 am PST by
Images of transparent prototype AirPods and a 29W Apple power adapter have been shared on Twitter by Apple device collector Giulio Zompetti. The prototypes, which appear to be either first-generation or second-generation AirPods, feature clear plastic along the stem and around the outer side of the earbud, with the normal white plastic on the inner side of the earbud. Transparent casings are ...