Mar 13, 2023 - News

Salt Lake airport accepts mobile IDs for pre-approved travelers

Illustration of a driver's license in the shape of a text message balloon.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The Salt Lake City International Airport now accepts TSA PreCheck travelers' mobile IDs.

Driving the news: The Transportation Security Administration announced this week that TSA PreCheck members could use their Utah mobile driver's licenses to verify their identities before going through security at 15 participating airports.

Why it matters: TSA officials say mobile IDs make traveling through the airport more efficient.

Catch up quick: The move comes nearly two years after the Utah Department of Public Safety's Driver License Division launched its Mobile Driver License pilot in partnership with Get Group North America, an identity management company behind the GET Mobile ID app.

  • So far, more than 20,000 Utahns have signed up for digital driver's licenses with the app, KSL.com reported.

The intrigue: Salt Lake City's airport is the first in the nation to operate new Credential Authentication Technology — also known as CAT-2 — units at its security checkpoint, per TSA.

  • CAT-2 units are used to verify a passenger's identity and are equipped with cameras to capture a real-time photo of a traveler.

What they're saying: "TSA's use of CAT-2 is a screening enhancement that will improve our passenger’s experience from curb to gate," Bill Wyatt, the airport's executive director, said in a statement.

How it works: Utahns can sign up for a mobile ID by downloading the GET Mobile ID app on their Apple or Android devices.

  • At the airport, a CAT-2 unit scans the app. The system compares the traveler's photo to a real-time picture of them and pulls up their flight information.
  • Once the CAT-2 unit confirms a match, a TSA officer will green-light the passenger to proceed through the screening process.
  • Of note: Travelers are still advised to carry a physical ID.
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