Drivers license scanning Apple Wallet

Apple to Add Driver’s Licenses to Apple Wallet: How it Works

08/06/2021

In a huge development for the world of digital identity, Apple has launched US driver’s license and ID scanning for the Apple Wallet in iOS 15. This innovation will enable users to store a digital copy of their ID just like their credit card or airline ticket. 

What’s more, this new digital version of the driver’s license will be accepted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as a valid form of identification for security checks at the airport. In the future, this could also be used as a form of ID in other situations, like checking into a hotel, functioning as a smart lock or for purchasing restricted items.

How does driver’s license scanning work?

Many companies and governments around the world already use some form of driver’s license scanning on their apps or websites, but in every case, the technology behind it is the same: mobile optical character recognition (OCR). This technology allows the user to open the camera on their mobile device, hold it over a form text in the real world, and capture the characters for use in the digital world.

Optical character recognition technology is not only for scanning IDs, but it can also be used for everything from vehicle license plates, utility meters, and even tires!

What countries are currently supported?

Apple has announced that Apple Wallet will start by supporting US driver’s licenses and IDs, but have not yet said which states will participate. Historically, creating new mobile data capture solutions took months, and required significant amounts of data to train – in fact, Apple have been working on their ID scanning for at least a year already.

But recent innovations in machine learning, including tools like the Anyline Trainer, now make it possible to create scanning solutions far faster than before. In fact, Anyline is now adding on average 1 new ID per day to our growing list of supported IDs which can be scanned. Furthermore, Anyline now supports Arabic script, and will be launching ID scanning for countries across the Middle East in the coming months.

If your business could benefit from driver’s license scanning, contact us today to find out how it can integrate into your existing systems.

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What devices currently offer ID and driver’s license scanning?

Apple has surged ahead of the competition by offering driver’s license scanning on the Apple Wallet, in a move reminiscent of their pioneering integration of fingerprint scanning and Face ID. Their Apple Wallet will be able to store IDs from iOS 15 onwards. However, the same technology could also be easily integrated for Android and Windows devices, or added directly into apps or websites.

Is scanning ID information on your device safe?

As with any new technology which will involve the processing of sensitive data, it is important that companies and consumers understand exactly how data will be captured and stored to ensure it cannot be breached. According to Apple, “all of the information in Wallet will be stored in a secure and encrypted fashion” – as is the case with credit card information already stored in the same way.

For other companies aiming to integrate ID scanning into their own devices, apps or websites, there are two options – and it is important to understand the differences between the two. The first option is server-side scanning – which is popular for processing large amounts of data at once, and involves sending the image to an external server to be read. The second option is ‘on device’ scanning, whereby the data is processed on the users phone, and functions offline.

For maximum security, companies that integrate mobile data capture for sensitive information like IDs should use on-device scanning, and partner with a vendor which has ISO 27001 certification. This ensures the highest level of protection for customer data, gives users greater control over their own data and avoids the possibility of interception from 3rd parties. 

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