The feature is US-specific for now and will function in participating states as not all states accept virtual IDs in the US. This means not all users in the US will be able to access the feature with the introduction of iOS 15, as it might take some time for the feature to work as states add support. The development was first reported by Mac rumors. The report noted that Apple has not provided a specific release date for the feature beyond early 2022 and that the feature is not enabled in the latest iOS 15.2 beta.
Apple noted that while adding a driver’s license or state ID to the Wallet app, users will be required to take a photo of their face which will be provided to the issuing state for verification. Apple also required users to complete a series of facial and head movements during the setup process.
Apple’s aim to replace physical documents like driver’s licenses with an upgrade to the Apple Wallet, in some ways, is similar to the digital verification in India. The government of India introduced DigiLocker back in 2015, a platform to issue and verify documents and certificates digitally and to eliminate the use of physical documents, encouraging paperless governance. DigiLocker provides access to authentic virtual documents and allows users to store documents like driving licenses, PAN card, Voter ID, policy documents, among others. DigiLocker is an initiative of the Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY) under Digital India Corporation (DIC).
In early 2022, Apple has delayed the rollout of its digital ID feature that included driver’s license and digital identification for users. It was supposed to launch in late 2021 but Apple updated its website to note the development of the iOS 15 and WatchOS 8 feature. Apple had noted that it would add support for driver’s licenses and hotel keys with Apple Wallet earlier this year at the WWDC.
Apple had noted that the feature will let users use its Wallet app to store their digital identity for use at airport security checkpoints given the system is dependent on the user’s state supporting it. Apple had noted that adding an ID will be as convenient as opening the Wallet app. Users will be required to scan the front and back of the card, and it will automatically be added. When enabled, the feature will allow users to scan their license or state ID into their iPhones phone. This essentially means that the new virtual IDs will function the same as a physical ID card.