The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would allow the continued use of mobile driver’s licenses (mDL) at TSA airport security checkpoints beyond the 2025 REAL ID implementation deadline.
This proposed rule would allow for continued use of mDLs at participating TSA checkpoints after May 7, 2025, when passengers will be required to show REAL ID-compliant identification.
The temporary waiver created by this rule would permit federal agencies to continue accepting mDLs for official federal purposes from individuals with a valid and unexpired REAL ID-compliant physical driver’s license or identification card that is issued by REAL ID-compliant states to whom TSA has issued a waiver. TSA intends to issue a subsequent rule-making to set more comprehensive requirements for mDLs after emerging industry standards and federal guidelines are finalised, and at that time would repeal the waiver provisions established in this rule-making.
An mDL is a digital representation of a state-issued physical driver’s license that is typically installed through an application on the user’s smartphone and stored in its digital wallet, similar to how many users currently store their physical credit cards on their smartphones. The information from the digital wallet is read after the smartphone is tapped against a reader to establish the validity of the mDL.
“TSA fully supports the integration of digital identity technology, including mobile driver’s licenses, as part of our transportation security framework,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske.
“This incremental approach balances security and passenger experience, encourages digital identity innovation and investment and ensures that we honour the intent of the REAL ID Act. This rule-making will establish a path for states to continue partnering with industry in developing secure digital identity for use at TSA checkpoints.”
TSA currently accepts mDLs issued by the following states and wallet/app providers for limited testing purposes at TSA PreCheck® lanes in participating airports: