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Google Lets Users in Three More States Save Driver’s License to Digital Wallets

Google is letting users in three more states store their state IDs in the Google Wallet app.

Already live in Maryland, the tech giant is extending the program to users in Georgia, Arizona and Colorado, Google said in an announcement provided to PYMNTS Wednesday (Oct. 18).

“Google Wallet users in select states can save their ID to Wallet for use at TSA PreCheck lines at select airports,” the announcement said. “Later this year, we will be rolling out more ways to use your ID in Wallet, for example when renting a car from an app, you will be able to share only the necessary information, like name or driving eligibility.”

The offering is open to Android users who are running Android 8.0 or later, and have an Arizona, Colorado, Georgia or Maryland state issued ID or driver’s license.

IDs in the wallets will be encrypted, meaning no one gets access to personal information unless a user wants to share it. Identifying information will only be shared when users present their ID, after authenticating on their device.

If a phone is stolen, the ID can’t be used on the device without user authorization, the announcement said. Users can also delete their IDs remotely from myaccount.google.com. 

PYMNTS’ Karen Webster spoke earlier this year with Jenny Cheng, vice president and general manager of Google Wallet, who noted the adoption rate of digital wallets as a payment method is still relatively low. At the same time, there’s still a need to carry a physical wallet to store ID.

“Name the ID, and the plastic form of it must be kept somewhere,” PYMMTS wrote. “And even though payments wallets may allow some form of identity or access credentials like boarding passes or movie tickets, the leather wallet remains the physical go-to.”

Cheng said that presents a greenfield opportunity for digital wallets to gain ground, as a way to reduce the load of the physical wallet while keeping credentials safe.

“When you think about replacing your physical wallet, obviously, how you pay is an important part of that,” Cheng said. 

Google isn’t the only tech company employing this technology. Earlier this month, Samsung announced it was working with identity technologies provider IDEMIA to bring mobile driver’s licenses and state IDs to Samsung Wallet for users in Arizona and Iowa.