Maryland was one of the first states to make state IDs available on Apple’s Wallet app for iPhones, and now Google is beta testing support for the “Digital Driver’s License” in the Wallet app on Android phones. The Apple Wallet integration can already be used to get through TSA at airports like the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport that allow the use of digital state IDs, which should be similar on Android.
Users running Android 13 who are in the Google Play Services beta program (specifically, version 48.22) should now see a new option for “ID Card (beta)” when adding a new card to the Google Wallet app. This shows up on Pixel smartphones, but because of Google’s hardware requirements, it’s unclear whether it will show up on other devices right now. There have been Android devices with digital ID support, like Samsung’s Galaxy S20, but hardware requirements to support the feature may vary based on whether a device launched with Android 13 or upgraded to it later.
The feature was announced during Google’s developer-oriented I/O keynote in May, where it showed a slide with Maryland as the first ID available for the upcoming feature.
Android support for a digital state ID is part of this month’s Google System updates, which also includes other Play Services beta features for Wallet like Digital Car Key (for Xiaomi devices) and the ability to manage payment cards on Fitbit devices.
According to a Verge tipster, the process to add a Maryland ID goes as follows: scan the front of the ID > scan the back > take a short recording of your face > submit your application > and finally, wait for Maryland to accept the card. The process is very similar to that of adding a card to Apple Wallet.
As of writing, the Play Services beta program is full, so you might have to wait a while to try out the feature. Google recommitted to its Wallet app initiative after a period where it was deprecated in favor of a focused “Google Pay” offering. Now, Wallet contains Google Pay, transit cards, loyalty rewards, gift cards, and ID cards, making it a much more complete app.
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