Wednesday, June 19, 2024

TSA Now Accepting Mobile Driver’s Licenses via LA Wallet at New Orleans International Airport

by BIZ Magazine

NEW ORLEANS, LA — Louisiana residents can now experience a more streamlined security process at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) thanks to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) accepting mobile driver’s licenses (DLs) and identification cards through the LA Wallet app. This initiative, effective immediately, extends to 26 other participating airports across the United States, allowing travelers to use their mobile IDs for identity verification at TSA checkpoints.

To utilize this service, residents must have REAL ID-compliant credentials accessible via LA Wallet on their mobile devices. The process involves presenting the mobile DL or ID by tapping the phone or scanning the QR code in the app. TSA’s Credential Authentication Technology Reader (CAT-2) at the security checkpoint will take a photo of the traveler, which will then be matched with the digital ID. Once confirmed, a TSA officer will verify the identity, allowing the passenger to proceed through security screening.

Enhanced Convenience and Security

The adoption of mobile IDs through LA Wallet enhances convenience for travelers, aiming to reduce the time spent at security checkpoints. Importantly, the process maintains high security standards. The traveler’s photo and personal information captured by the TSA reader are deleted immediately after the transaction, ensuring that data is not shared with other entities or used for law enforcement or surveillance purposes.

However, all passengers are still required to carry their physical IDs. In instances where the digital ID cannot be verified, travelers must present a physical identification document, such as a driver’s license or passport, to complete the identity verification process.

Expanding Digital ID Use

Louisiana joins seven other states—Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, and Utah—in offering digital IDs compatible with TSA’s CAT-2 readers. This move underscores a growing trend towards digital identity solutions in the travel industry, aimed at enhancing efficiency and convenience.

Currently, MSY is the only airport in Louisiana equipped with CAT-2 digital ID readers. The TSA’s acceptance of mobile IDs marks a significant step towards broader adoption of digital credentials across the nation.

Preparing for REAL ID Compliance

Starting May 7, 2025, only state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards that meet REAL ID standards will be accepted for official purposes by federal agencies. The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) encourages residents to consider obtaining a REAL ID-compliant credential when renewing their licenses or identification cards. To assist with this transition, LOUIE, the Louisiana OMV REAL ID virtual expert, is available at www.expresslane.org/REALID to guide residents through the necessary documentation process.

How to Get Started

Louisiana residents can download the LA Wallet app for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play. For more information on LA Wallet and its functionalities, visit lawallet.com. To learn more about digital identity solutions accepted at TSA checkpoints, visit tsa.gov/digital-id.

This initiative is part of ongoing efforts to integrate advanced technology into everyday processes, ensuring a more efficient, secure, and convenient travel experience for all passengers.

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