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 9

Top Rated Comments

Apple_Robert Avatar
17 months 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
17 months 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
17 months 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
17 months ago
This is amazing! Gotta start somewhere.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DotCom2 Avatar
17 months ago
My forehead hurts from so many facepalms on some of the "what if’s" I’ve read here!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JustinCymbal Avatar
17 months 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)

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