Google Wallet catches up to Apple Wallet for digital IDs

Adding public transit card to Google Wallet
(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google Wallet has added digital ID support for Arizona, Colorado, and Georgia residents, joining Maryland.
  • You can use these IDs at select U.S. airports, but only with TSA PreCheck.
  • Apple Wallet also supports these four states. Other states use their own digital ID apps separate from either Google or Apple Wallet.

Android-owning U.S. residents living in Arizona, Colorado, and Georgia who want an official digital copy of their license are in luck: Google Wallet now allows them to add their digital IDs, and you can do so right now. 

Google first announced Google Wallet in May 2022, promising during its I/O keynote that it would soon enable digital IDs to substitute for a driver's license. Since then, only one state — Maryland — has supported the feature, and we began to wonder if the feature would ever expand.

Now, anyone in the above four states can open Google Wallet, tap Add to Wallet > ID Card, take photos of the front and back of their license or state ID, and film a short video of their face. After your request is approved, you can use your digital ID at TSA checkpoints at these airports

Google also says that "more options to use your US Driver's License or State ID are coming soon," but we don't have a timeline for how long it'll take or an idea of which locations will accept these licenses. For now, you'll still want to keep your physical driver's license on hand.

Currently, most of the best Android phones running Android 8 or later support the feature, but you must have a screen lock active, as well as Bluetooth and Nearby Devices turned on. Also, foldable phones currently don't support the feature. 

(Image credit: Android Central)

Apple added support for Arizona and Maryland in May 2022, Colorado in November, and Georgia this May, as states seem to be prioritizing iPhone owners first. 

Interestingly, while other states like Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Ohio, and Utah have appeared in Apple press releases claiming their IDs would be supported "soon," it hasn't happened yet. In theory, when (or if) they come to Apple Wallet, they should also come to Google Wallet.

Some states like California, Delaware, and Florida have chosen to create their own digital ID apps instead of relying on either Wallet app. So, it's possible that many states will never receive Google or Apple Wallet support. 

Meanwhile, Samsung Wallet just announced its own support for digital licenses and IDs, with Arizona and Iowa slated to be the first to allow the feature. 

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, Wearables & AR/VR

Michael is Android Central's resident expert on wearables and fitness. Before joining Android Central, he freelanced for years at Techradar, Wareable, Windows Central, and Digital Trends. Channeling his love of running, he established himself as an expert on fitness watches, testing and reviewing models from Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, COROS, Polar, Amazfit, Suunto, and more.