Maryland recently became the first state to offer a digital driver’s license for both Android and Apple users.
Nearly two years ago, Maryland was among the first states to offer driver’s licenses in Apple Wallet. Now Android users have the option to store a digital license on Google Wallet.
Anyone with a valid Maryland driver’s license can upload their ID into the digital wallet. These can be used at airport checkpoints at BWI Marshall Airport and the Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Virginia.
“Maryland is leading the way in creating a more competitive and innovative digital environment while prioritizing accessibility and customer service,” Gov. Wes Moore said in a news release. “Maryland Mobile ID advances our administration’s work to deliver safe and secure services that benefit all Marylanders.”
Unlike physical IDs, Maryland Mobile allows users to only share requested information.
This “puts the control back into the customers’ hands,” said Chrissy Nizer, MDOT MVA administrator, who emphasized that privacy is still important to all residents in Maryland.
The only information TSA checkpoints receive will be based on data elements used to verify the identity of whoever is flying, Nizer said.
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MDOT MVA is “actively talking to partners and law enforcement” about what Maryland Mobile would look like for law enforcement and other private entities in the future, she said.
“Innovation and technology are keys to building a transportation system that’s more equitable, accessible and safe for all Marylanders,” Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld said in a news release. “Maryland Mobile ID is a tool that puts more convenience in the hands of our customers.”
Jenny Cheng, vice president for Google Wallet, said Google is “excited” to provide another way for people to move around without their physical wallets.
However, Marylanders still should carry their physical IDs, according to MDOT.
The program has been available for Google Play users since June 1. Anyone with a valid Maryland license qualifies to register for free. Users will need their physical IDs for the enrollment process, which includes face gestures to verify their identity. The facial feature is similar to setting up the facial ID feature on a smartphone.
For more information about the program and tutorials about the digital IDs, Marylanders can visit the MVA’s website.
In September 2021, Maryland announced that it was among the first states to offer driver’s licenses in Apple Wallets. MDOT launched Maryland mobile in Apple Wallet in May 2022 but has been working to ensure Android users will have the same access, Nizer said.