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Patents point to iPhone replacing physical driver's license and passport

Passport Plane Ticket
Passport Plane Ticket (Image credit: Nicole Geri)

What you need to know

  • Apple may be trying to digitize the driver's license and passport.
  • New patents point to such technology.
  • Apple has been slowly attempting to get rid of the wallet since the launch of Apple Pay.

Since the launch of the Wallet app and Apple Pay, Apple has been slowly trying to rid the world of the physical wallet and all of the items you carry inside. It appears that, now that Apple Pay has grown into mass adoption across the world, the company is turning its eyes to the drivers license and the passport.

Reported by AppleInsider, Apple has filed a number of patents titled "Providing Verified Claims of User Identity" which focus on authenticating a user's identity digitally with a device.

"A device implementing a system for using a verified claim of identity includes at least one processor configured to receive a verified claim including information to identify a user of a device," says one such application, "the verified claim being signed by a server based on verification of the information by an identity verification provider separate from the server, the verified claim being specific to the device."

Jennifer Bailey, Apple's Vice President of Internet Services and Apple Pay, previously said in an interview that, while the company is expecting identification methods such as drivers licenses and passports to become digital at some point, they do not see that happening in the near future.

"Identity, to be legal, it has to be government, it has to be authenticated by the government," she said in 2019. "We see, across the globe, many countries starting to use mobile to add a passport. "You may use a mobile passport when you're going through airports today, and so it is moving and I think it will continue," she added. "So it's not too far away, it just won't be as fast as some of the other activities we have."

The patent applications filed could apply to much more than just a driver's license and passport. Apple could also use the technology to digitize virtually any identification card, allowing users to store all of their forms of identity securely on their Apple devices.

Joe Wituschek
Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.

4 Comments
  • I can get behind this! If it's secure and private, that's all I care about.
  • One more thing. Limited to that function once activated. By that I mean if I bring up my DL, nothing else happens on that phone until I put in a PIN to get back out of the DL app, or card, or however it is implemented. Yes, PIN. Courts have agreed that you can not be compelled to disclose your PIN, but it is legal to forcibly place your finger on touch ID or hold the phone up to your face for FaceID. Unlocking your phone and handing it to authorities is about the same as opening your door and saying come on in. It's an open invitation to anything inside.
  • This is why Face ID can be disabled very easily at any point, then you're just left with PIN entry
  • Not everyone knows how to do that, and it's not intuitive. Even if you have it as PIN unlock, and you unlock it to show your Starbucks card or whatever, it is all unlocked right now.