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Puerto Rico among 30 jurisdictions exploring adoption of Apple Wallet digital IDs

Puerto Rico is among 30 jurisdictions that is exploring the possibility of adopting technology giant Apple’s digital ID feature, which would allow citizens to add their driver’s license or state ID to their iPhone’s digital Wallet application. The feature could go live early next year.

The ID stored in the Wallet app could be used for travel, as the company is also reportedly in talks with the US Transportation Safety Administration as part of the initial deployment. Users will be able to use their iPhones or Apple Watches to present their IDs at security checkpoints in yet-undisclosed airports, Apple confirmed in a press release.

“The addition of driver’s licenses and state IDs to Apple Wallet is an important step in our vision of replacing the physical wallet with a secure and easy-to-use mobile wallet,” said Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay and Apple Wallet.

In the future, the digital ID could also be accepted by retailers and entertainment venues.

Enrique Volkers, executive director of the Puerto Rico Innovation and Technology Services (PRITS) could not comment on whether the island is planning to allow the feature, citing a strict non-disclosure agreement with Apple.

Puerto Rico’s Department of Transportation and Public Works CESCO Digital mobile app already features a digital version of a person’s driver’s license or government-issued ID, a feature that was launched last year.

Already, there are at least 30 US jurisdictions adopting digital licenses for mobile use, namely: Alabama; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Iowa; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maryland; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Virginia; Wyoming; Washington DC; and Puerto Rico.

Arizona and Georgia will be the first states to introduce this new innovation to their residents, with Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah to follow, Apple confirmed in the press release issued in September.

The integration of digital IDs in the Apple Wallet app is part of the update planned for iOS 15.

“We’re excited that the TSA and so many states are already on board to help bring this to life for travelers across the country using only their iPhone and Apple Watch, and we’re already in discussions with many more states as we’re working to offer this nationwide in the future,” Bailey said.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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