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Maryland Extends Digital ID Access to Android Users

The state has offered access to digital ID for Apple smartphone users for almost two years. Now, those with Android devices will be able to use their state-issued IDs digitally as well.

(TNS) — Maryland recently became the first state to offer a digital driver’s license for both Android and Apple users.

Nearly two years ago, Maryland was among the first states to offer driver’s licenses in Apple Wallet. Now Android users have the option to store a digital license on Google Wallet.

Anyone with a valid Maryland driver’s license can upload their ID into the digital wallet. These can be used at airport checkpoints at BWI Marshall Airport and the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

“Maryland is leading the way in creating a more competitive and innovative digital environment while prioritizing accessibility and customer service,” Gov. Wes Moore said in a news release. “Maryland Mobile ID advances our administration’s work to deliver safe and secure services that benefit all Marylanders.”

Unlike physical IDs, Maryland Mobile allows users to only share requested information. Chrissy Nizer, MDOT MVA administrator, said this “puts the control back into the customers’ hands” and emphasized that privacy is still important to all residents in Maryland.

The only information TSA checkpoints receive will be based on data elements used to verify the identity of whoever is flying, Nizer said. MDOT MVA is “actively talking to partners and law enforcement” about what Maryland Mobile would look like for law enforcement and other private entities in the future.

“Innovation and technology are keys to building a transportation system that’s more equitable, accessible and safe for all Marylanders,” Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld said in a news release. “Maryland Mobile ID is a tool that puts more convenience in the hands of our customers.”

Jenny Cheng, Google Wallet vice president, said Google is “excited” to provide another way for people to move around without their physical wallets. However, Marylanders should still carry around their physical IDs, according to MDOT.

The program for Google Play users has been available since Thursday. Anyone with a valid Maryland license qualifies to register for free. Users will need their physical IDs for the enrollment process, which includes face gestures to verify their identity. The facial feature is similar to setting up the facial feature on a smartphone.

For more information about the program and tutorials about the digital IDs, Marylanders can click here.

In September 2021, Maryland announced that it was among the first states to offer driver’s licenses in Apple Wallets. MDOT launched Maryland mobile in Apple Wallet in May 2022 but has been actively working to ensure Android users will have the same access, Nizer said.

©2023 Baltimore Sun, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.