Getting through the airport is about to get much easier for passengers.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is now accepting mobile IDs through Google Wallet, starting with Maryland travelers who are catching flights in 25 participating airports across the country.
“TSA’s partnership with Google and Maryland spotlights our commitment to implementing new technologies and expanding use of mobile driver’s licenses,” said David Pekoske, TSA administrator. “This launch represents the first mobile driver’s license in Google Wallet. We continue to work closely with other states on deploying this capability across the country. TSA is committed to collaborating on international, open standards that provide enhanced security, privacy protections, and offers airline passengers a more efficient and convenient travel experience.”
Which airports are accepting mobile IDs?
Currently, there are over two dozen airports across the country that are accepting mobile Maryland IDs through Google Wallet at TSA checkpoints:
Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
Denver International Airport (DEN)
Des Moines International Airport (DSM)
Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport (GPT)
Harry Reid International Airport (LAS)
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
Honolulu Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL)
Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport (JAN)
John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH)
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)
Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU)
Miami International Airport (MIA)
Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC)
Nashville International Airport (BNA)
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
Richmond International Airport (RIC)
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
The Eastern Iowa Airport (CID)
Will Rogers World Airport (OKC)
How does it work?
To use Google Wallet with your mobile ID at the airport, consumers first need to follow the steps involved with linking your driver’s license to your Google Wallet. Once you’ve done that, you head to the airport with your Bluetooth turned on and make your way to the security checkpoint.
Travelers will hold their phone or watch with their mobile ID against the Credential Authentication Technology (CAT-2) device reader. Rather than fumbling a physical ID and a boarding pass, this one scan will do all of the work.
The TSA agent will compare the information from the digital wallet with the real-time picture that’s taken during this screening process. Travelers won’t also need to provide a boarding pass; the scan of the mobile ID will automatically generate the boarding pass.
If everything matches, travelers can move on to the next portion of the security procedure. In certain instances, TSA agents may ask for additional ID materials to verify travelers’ identities, and so the agency encourages consumers to still bring their physical IDs to the airport just in case.
In time, TSA plans to roll out this feature for travelers from more states and at more airports across the country. When fully functional, this will make security screening more efficient and more secure for travelers.
Currently, this new feature is only available for travelers with TSA PreCheck.