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Samsung Wallet Starts Letting Users Upload State IDs and Driver’s Licenses

Samsung says you’ll be able to upload your driver’s license to Samsung Wallet, with plans to let apps use the ID for age authentication in the future. The announcement came Thursday at the Samsung Developer Conference.

Digital verification lets you store critical health and identity information on your device, and Samsung has been playing catch-up with Apple in bringing this technology to its products, launching Samsung Wallet for Galaxy phones only in June 2022. Not only has Apple had its own Wallet app and functionality for years for the iPhone, it started letting users upload their state IDs and driver’s licenses back in September 2021 (here’s how to upload your ID to Apple Wallet).

Samsung Galaxy phone owners with licenses and IDs from Arizona and Iowa will be the first to add their documents to Samsung Wallet, starting later this year. The company is working with “several more early-adopting states” according to a press release, but it’s unclear when more states will be added.

Digital identification through Samsung Wallet may soon be accepted at select airports. Samsung is working with the US Transportation Security Administration on a test program to accept smartphone-based IDs at 25 airports nationwide that also currently accept Apple Wallet and Google Wallet, along with state-based mobile ID apps. Only two states are listed in the TSA’s program for DMV-linked apps: Iowa and California, which just expanded its limited mobile ID trial into a larger pilot phase.

In early 2024, Samsung will release a software development kit for developers to integrate online age and identification information into their apps, with the presumed plan to allow them to use Samsung Wallet ID info to verify users.

Digital verification stored in phone “wallets” is the most current method device makers have used to store critical data for use in the real world. Google Wallet originally launched in 2011 as a mobile payment service app, but it was supported by only one bank (or prepaid card amounts) and worked only with Google’s Nexus phones. 

The rebranded Android Pay launched in 2015 around a flurry of other mobile payment services (Apple Pay arrived in 2014 and Samsung Pay in 2015) before Google followed Apple in storing more authentication in a rebranded Google Wallet at Google I/O 2022.

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