South Korea launches digital driver’s license for smartphones

South Koreans can now save their driver’s licenses on their smartphones using an identity authentication app called ‘PASS’.

South Korea on Tuesday launched a digital driver’s license service via an identity authentication app that is currently being used by 30 million people for mobile financial transactions. 

The digital driver’s license, that can be accessed through ‘PASS’, has been jointly developed by three mobile carriers, the Korean National Police Agency and the Road Traffic Authority. 

“The digital driver’s license marks the first case where a digital version of an official identification is used as a legally acceptable form of identity verification,” SK Telecom said in a statement.

The three telcos – SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus – have connected their identity authentication servers to the Korean National Police Agency’s driver’s license system and applied blockchain technology in order to confirm the authenticity of the information of the driver’s license as well as to block attempts to register fake driver’s licenses. 

SK Telecom said that users of PASS can register their driver’s license on the app through a verification and encryption process. However, a user can only register one smartphone under their name.

“For identity verification, the app will show the user’s photo on his/her driver’s license along with a QR code and barcode,” it said.

From July this year, the digital driver’s license will also be used for reissuing and renewal of driver’s licenses.

“The Korean National Police Agency will make concerted efforts with the three Korean mobile carriers to boost the usage of the digital driver’s license service, which can help address social problems caused by theft or illegal use of driver’s license,” Min Gap-ryong, commissioner general of the Korean National Police Agency said.

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