Facial Recognition and Digital Identity Solutions

Discover New Technologies for a
Faster, Easier Travel Experience.

Digital forms of identity enable the passenger to seamlessly and
securely transmit identity information using facial recognition at
select TSA checkpoints.

* Travelers must present alternative physical ID if requested by TSA.

** Participation in these pilots is optional. Your photo will be taken if you participate. During the evaluation periods, your photo and limited biographic information will be shared with DHS Science and Technology Directorate to evaluate the technology's effectiveness. Please notify a TSA officer if you do not wish to participate and would like to receive standard ID verification screening.

As TSA continues to integrate new technologies for a faster, easier travel experience, we've collaborated on several innovative digital identity initiatives, which work in place of a physical ID* or boarding pass. Be sure to follow the steps to setup and activate your selected digital identity solution before your trip so it’s ready to present at the TSA checkpoint. Look for your preferred airline or device maker below to find out more!

Delta Biometric Facial Identification

TSA PreCheck® Touchless Identity Solution

Opt-in at select airports to participate in the TSA PreCheck Touchless Identity Solution program during check-in with participating airlines. Store your participation preference, TSA PreCheck KTN and Passport Number in the airlines mobile app. By opting in, your identity can be verified without presenting a physical ID at bag drop, the security checkpoint, and at the boarding gate.

Participation is Optional

ID in Apple Wallet

Mobile Driver’s License and Digital Identification

Add your state-issued eligible driver's license or identification card to your phone's digital wallet. Or download a TSA approved digital ID app to your mobile device.

Present your ID at select TSA checkpoints by tapping your phone or linked device or scanning the app issued QR code. Your photo will be taken by the TSA reader at security to proceed to screening.

You must still carry your physical ID as needed. 

Participation is Optional

TSA currently accepts, for limited testing and evaluation purposes, Delta Air Lines Facial Identification, United Airlines Bag Drop Shortcut, CA State-issued Mobile Driver’s License and identification cards in the California DMV Wallet App, IA State-issued Mobile Driver’s License and identification cards in the Iowa Mobile ID app, UT GET Mobile Driver's license app,  AZCOGAMD State-issued Mobile Driver's Licenses and identification cards in Apple Wallet,  AZCOGAMD State-issued Mobile Driver’s License and identification cards in Google Wallet,  AZ State-issued Mobile Driver’s Licenses and identification cards in Samsung Wallet, at the airports below:

Digital ID US Map

Participating Programs and Airports

Airports TSA PreCheck® Touchless ID Mobile Driver's License Digital Identification
Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) Yes Yes
Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) Yes
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) Yes Yes
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) Yes Yes
Denver International Airport (DEN) Yes Yes
Des Moines International Airport (DSM) Yes Yes
Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) Yes
Eastern Iowa Airport (CID) Yes Yes
Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport (GPT) Yes Yes
Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) Yes Yes
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) Yes Yes Yes
Honolulu Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) Yes Yes
Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport (JAN) Yes Yes
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) Yes Yes Yes
John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH) Yes Yes
LaGuardia Airport (LGA) Yes Yes Yes
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Yes Yes Yes
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) Yes Yes
Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) Yes Yes
Miami International Airport (MIA) Yes Yes
Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) Yes Yes
Nashville International Airport (BNA) Yes Yes
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) Yes Yes
Richmond International Airport (RIC) Yes Yes
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) Yes Yes
Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) Yes Yes
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) Yes Yes
Will Rogers World Airport (OKC) Yes Yes


No. Participation in the testing of biometric technology is voluntary. Passengers may notify a TSA officer if they do not wish to participate and instead go through the standard ID verification process.

Yes. Currently, all passengers must continue to have their physical IDs on hand. If a digital ID cannot be verified at the TSA security checkpoint, a passenger must use an acceptable physical identity document (e.g., driver’s license, passport) to proceed through the identity verification process.

TSA is committed to protecting passenger privacy and secures all personal data collected as part of our biometric efforts. TSA will continue to comply with DHS policies with respect to safeguarding PII throughout each phase of biometric solution development – from initial design to implementation – to protect passenger information. In addition to cybersecurity measures that ensure all data is protected while in transit and while at rest, biometric technology transforms passenger photos to templates that cannot be reverse-engineered to recreate the original image. Additionally, all capabilities TSA tests adhere to DHS and TSA cybersecurity requirements.

Consistent with the DHS Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPs), TSA retains PII only for as long as is necessary to fulfill the specified purpose(s) of biometric technology pilots. DHS FIPPs and TSA’s PIAs provide guidance on matters such as transparency, specific use limitations, data minimization, and purpose specification for our biometric identity verification pilots. Additional information on data protection procedures for each test is available in TSA’s PIAs.

TSA exploration of biometric solutions is based on rigorous scientific study and analysis. We are aware of a variety of public concerns related to the accuracy of biometric technologies and take this issue seriously. Along with our federal partners, we are carefully studying biometric solutions in both laboratories and operational environments to proactively identify and mitigate performance issues up front. Accuracy and equity in biometric system performance is a key issue for TSA, and one we are carefully studying to ensure we understand the full benefits of this technology and make informed decisions to mitigate risks.

The acceptance of digital IDs has the potential to modernize checkpoint screening procedures and technologies to better serve the aviation security ecosystem, reduce points of contact for passengers, and pave the way for a more seamless travel experience. This effort is one of the steps TSA is taking under President Biden’s Executive Order on Transforming Customer Experience.

TSA publishes Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) to notify the public  about tests and additional information on privacy protections. TSA also notifies passengers using signage at the airport near dedicated test lanes. These signs notify the public that participation is voluntary.

The use of biometrics has the potential to automate the ID and boarding pass verification process for more efficient and secure screening.

Biometric recognition capabilities will improve the performance and security of TSA operations by increasing the accuracy and reliability of passenger identity verification by TSA. Biometrics can enable TSA to automate part of the current manual procedures and allow professional screening personnel to leverage their training and experience to focus more on alarms and error resolution.

No. TSA is testing biometric technology at the airport to improve and perhaps automate the identity verification portion of the process for passengers, not for law enforcement or immigration enforcement purposes. Additionally, TSA does not tolerate racial profiling. Profiling is not an effective way to perform security screening, and TSA personnel are trained to treat every passenger with dignity and respect.

A digital ID is an electronic representation of personally identifying information that may be used to verify the identity of a person. A mobile driver's license is a type of digital ID. It is a digital representation of the information contained on a state-issued physical driver’s license, stored on a mobile electronic device, such as a smartphone, and read electronically. A mobile driver’s license is similar to a credit card holder having a physical credit card and multiple card records in digital wallets that require biometric verification prior to each transaction. A digital ID may also be issued by a non-governmental entity based on information derived from governmental or non-governmental sources.

If TSA is unable to obtain a match through biometric technology as part of a test, the TSA officer will use standard passenger identity verification procedures.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the commercial aviation sector and on TSA’s aviation security mission. TSA must prioritize the health and safety of our officers and the traveling public. To promote social distancing and reduce contact between officers and passengers, we are exploring a self-service version of Credential Authentication Technology (CAT) that enables passengers to scan their own photo IDs for authentication and uses biometrics to verify passenger identity, eliminating a point of contact between officers and passengers. This updated version of CAT (known as CAT-2) biometrically verifies a passenger’s identity by taking a picture and comparing the passenger’s live image to the photo on their authenticated photo ID (e.g., driver's license, passport). TSA first demonstrated this technology in August 2020 at DCA. TSA also conducted additional pilots to further test this technology, starting in March 2021 at DCA, PHX, IND, and MIA. TSA has since upgraded the CAT-2 units to feature a digital ID reader, updated user interface, and other enhancements including a new podium and space for additional processing power. Starting in March 2022, TSA began conducting field tests to assess these upgraded CAT-2 units.

TSA began testing the acceptance of digital IDs, including mobile driver’s licenses (mDLs) from participating states, at select TSA PreCheck® checkpoints in early 2022. Checkpoints that are testing the acceptance of digital IDs will have signage posted. TSA is actively engaged with other organizations to continue developing capabilities, standardizing the digital ID ecosystem to ensure interoperability with TSA systems, and piloting digital ID technology at various airport checkpoints around the country.

 Participating Field Assessment Pilot Airports

  • Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)
  • Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
  • Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
  • Denver International Airport (DEN)
  • Des Moines International Airport (DSM)
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
  • Eastern Iowa Airport (CID)
  • Gulfport Biloxi International Airport (GPT)
  • Harry Reid International Airport (LAS)
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • Honolulu Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL)
  • Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport (JAN)
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH)
  • LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)
  • Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU)
  • Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • Nashville International Airport (BNA) – Beginning 3/08
  • Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC)
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
  • Richmond International Airport (RIC)
  • Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
  • Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • The Eastern Iowa Airport (CID)
  • Will Rogers World Airport (OKC)

Below is the current list of eligible digital IDs from state or private issuing authorities that may be accepted by TSA at the checkpoint for testing and evaluation purposes.

Participating State/Issuing Authority

Eligible Digital ID


Mobile Driver’s License in Apple WalletGoogle Wallet, and Samsung Wallet

California Mobile Driver’s License in California DMV Wallet App
Colorado Mobile Driver’s License in Apple Wallet and Google Wallet
Georgia Mobile Driver’s License in Apple Wallet and Google Wallet
Iowa Mobile Driver’s License in Iowa Mobile ID app


Mobile Driver’s License in Apple Wallet and Google Wallet

Utah Mobile Driver’s License in GET Mobile App

The REAL ID Modernization Act (2020) clarified that the REAL ID Act applies to state-issued mobile driver’s licenses and mobile identification cards (collectively "mDLs"). On April 19, 2021, DHS published a request for information to seek public comment to inform an upcoming rulemaking that will address security and privacy standards for the issuance of mDLs and enable federal agencies to accept these credentials for official purposes as defined in the REAL ID Act and regulation.

No. TSA will only be able to receive a passenger’s digital identification information at TSA checkpoints upon a passenger's consent. Passengers will control access to and use of the digital ID kept in their mobile device. Generally, TSA does not copy or store the digital ID, unless it is done in a limited testing environment for evaluation of the effectiveness of the pilot. In that instance, TSA will inform the passenger through PIAs, signage, and other means.


TSA PreCheck Touchless ID

TSA, in partnership with Delta and United Airlines, continues to expand TSA PreCheck Touchless ID at select airports for Bag Drop and Checkpoint Security.

Mobile Driver's License
TSA enables Arizona residents to use mobile driver’s license or state ID in Samsung Wallet

Facial Recognition
TSA uses facial recognition technology to verify the identity of travelers on a voluntary basis.

TSA PreCheck

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