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New screening technology will allow passengers to use digital ID at Denver International Airport security

New screening technology will allow passengers to use digital ID at Denver International Airport security
Posted at 5:24 PM, Nov 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-18 21:49:14-05

DENVER — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) unveiled new technology at the Denver International Airport (DIA) Friday aimed at making the travel experience a little less chaotic this holiday season.

You've most likely experienced the stress that comes with wrestling your physical ID and boarding pass out of your bag while navigating through security lines. Now, passengers will be able to use the electronic copy of their driver's license or state-issued ID thanks to new technology called CAT-2 (Credential Authentication Technology).

At the moment, only a select number of states provide certified electronic versions of IDs — Arizona, Colorado and Maryland.

To use, travelers will walk up to a kiosk and double-click their phone to bring up their electronic ID. The CAT-2 machine will capture the information and photo from their ID, along with their boarding pass information. It will also take a real-time photo of the traveler to compare to the photo on the ID.

Once the CAT-2 confirms the real-time photo matches the ID photo, a TSA agent will verify the information, and the traveler can continue their way through the security process.

“Your mobile driver’s license ID will go against our database, and we will be able to tell the status of your travel for that day,” said Larry Nau, TSA federal security director for Colorado. “So, the boarding pass, everything’s captured on this mobile ID.”

In a press release, TSA said the real-time photos are "never stored or used for any other purpose than immediate identity verification."

The new machines are located at TSA PreCheck in the north security line at DIA.

While some travelers are embracing the change, others are a bit more skeptical.

“I would be sold on that,” said Melana Baca. “Yeah, try to not fumble with my extra bags and all the different things. Whatever makes anything more streamlined, I’m a fan.”

“I feel like you could be mistaken,” said Laura Woodard, who is more skeptical of the technology. “I’m a little old school, more old-fashioned. I feel like there’s room for error. We all want to throw our computers out the window every now and then. Computers make mistakes. I don’t like it, makes me nervous. What if you lose your phone? Could someone pass through as you?”

Passengers are still encouraged to bring their physical ID with them when traveling.