SCIENCE + TECHNOLOGY

TSA digital ID process lets travelers use app to get through security

Mar 10, 2023, 10:12 AM | Updated: Mar 20, 2023, 1:07 pm

a phone is pictured using the new tsa digital ID process...

Katrina Pelkey, TSA human factors analyst, demonstrates using a digital ID with next-generation credential authorization technology units at the Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City, on Thursday, March 9, 2023. The units enable the use of digital state-issued IDs. They also take photos of travelers and compare them to photos on travelers’ photo IDs. Utah drivers can use the GET Mobile ID app to get a digital version of their Utah driver’s license or photo ID card on their Android or iOS device. (Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — If you’re traveling through the Salt Lake International Airport there’s some brand new security tech at the TSA check-in. A new digital ID verification process is aimed at simplifying TSA screening. 

The TSA’s newest tech makes sure all you need is your phone. TSA’s design aims to confirm a traveler is who they say they are, and to speed up boarding procedures.

TSA Spokesperson Lorie Dankers said their new CAT-2 unit takes a picture of the traveler to verify their ID, and with digital ID options now available in Utah, all you need to do is scan your phone.

“You approach the CAT-2 unit, you place your phone under the reader. That’s all that you do. It pulls up the information off your driver’s license, the tablet takes your picture, and once that match is made, you’re going to be waved in.”

The TSA only uses the photo to verify the image on your government-issued ID, then erases it.

Dankers said that this way, you don’t need to worry about exchanging documents, or losing tickets again.

But, the TSA also noted that travelers will need to present a physical ID if asked by an agent.

You can download your digital license to an app, which is compatible with both IOS and Android devices.

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TSA digital ID process lets travelers use app to get through security