Skip to main content

Google Wallet is getting custom cards and state IDs this month

Google Wallet is getting custom cards and state IDs this month


Google Wallet’s new features are designed to make it more convenient to use with personal IDs, travel passes, and loyalty or membership cards.

Share this story

Two mobile phones displaying the new state ID and custom card features for Google Wallet.
Maryland is the first state to support the feature, with Arizona, Colorado, and Georgia to follow “in the coming months.”
Image: Google

Google Wallet users will soon be able to add their state ID or driver’s licenses to Google Wallet. Announced today, anyone with a Maryland ID or driver’s license can now save their ID card to the Google Wallet app on any phone running Android 8.0 or later that has device lock enabled. Google has been testing digital state ID cards for Wallet since December last year, and Maryland also happened to be one of the first states to bring the feature to Apple’s Wallet app for iPhones. The new support for Google Wallet will also be available to residents in Arizona, Colorado, and Georgia “in the coming months,” with additional states expected to follow.

“Google is working with many states and international partners on mobile devices,” said Dong Min Kim, director of product management at Google Wallet, to The Verge. “Mobile driver’s license will be a phased rollout, and expand to other states over time. We intend to partner with all states interested in offering mobile driver’s licenses, based on state readiness and other integration logistics.”

A GIF demonstrating how to add a custom card to Google Wallet.
You can soon quickly add customized membership cards and travel passes to Google Wallet so long as they have a barcode or QR code.
Image: Google

This update also introduces the ability to create a digital version of any card or pass that displays a barcode or QR code — such as a gym membership or library card — simply by taking a photograph of it. Google Wallet already supports a range of different passes and loyalty memberships, but these typically rely on third-party operators adding their own support for the feature. Following this new update, Wallet users will be able to save things like transit QR tickets, parking passes, and even e-commerce return QR codes that wouldn’t ordinarily have a digital “card” equivalent.

Sticking with the transit theme, Google is also making it easier to complete travel check-in processes on your phone prior to arriving at the airport or train station — provided you’re a Google Messages user anyway. Those who use Google Messages with RCS enabled will be able to receive tickets and boarding passes directly on the Messages app, from which they can be saved to Google Wallet. Vietnam Airlines and Renfe, Spain’s leading train operator, will be the first two travel companies to support the feature. Google hasn’t mentioned a release date for either of these new Wallet features, only noting that they’re both “coming soon.”

A gif demonstrating how to add a travel pass to Google Wallet using RCS.
Google Wallet users can soon add boarding passes to the app directly from Google Messages.
Image: Google

Google is also working with health insurance company Humana to develop a digital version of the provider’s health insurance card that will allow Humana members to access their insurance information directly from the Wallet app. UK residents will also be able to save their National Insurance number (a British equivalent of social security numbers) to their Wallet from the HMRC app. These cards and passes have some additional security compared to things like travel tickets and require users to verify their identity using methods like fingerprint scans or PINs every time they’re added, viewed, or used. Health insurance cards and passes that similarly contain sensitive information will be labeled as a “Private Pass” within Google Wallet.

Finally, users in Germany can now save a Deutschlandticket — a monthly subscription ticket that can be used across all local public transportation — to their Google Wallet. Google has also teased that it will start introducing corporate badges in Google Wallet later this year, allowing employees to securely access their workplace without a physical staff pass.