South Korea today has seen the launched of a digital driver’s license service on PASS, an identity authentication app used by more than 30 million people for mobile financial transactions.
The digital driver’s license service is developed with the collaboration between the Korean National Police Agency, the Road Traffic Authority, and the country’s three mobile carriers – SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus – which developed the PASS app and rolled it out in 2018.
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 in the country.
“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,” said Min Gap-ryong, commissioner general of the Korean National Police Agency.
From July 2020, the digital driver’s license will be used for reissuance and renewal of a driver’s license, as well as issuance of a driver’s license in English at 27 Driver’s License Examination Offices located throughout South Korea.
The Korean National Police Agency is also reviewing plans to apply the digital driver’s license service to police work that involves identity verification such as a check by traffic police. Moreover, the three mobile carriers are in talks with companies in the car rental and shared mobility industries to adopt the digital driver’s license to facilitate non-face-to-face services.
Protected by blockchain
PASS users can register their driver’s license on the app through a verification and encryption process. Users can only use one smartphone registered under their own names.
To confirm the authenticity of the information on the driver’s license and block attempts to register counterfeit driver’s license, the three mobile carriers connected their identity authentication servers to the Korean National Police Agency’s driver’s license system and applied blockchain technology.
For identity verification, the app will show the user’s photo on his/her driver’s license along with a QR code and barcode. To prevent theft or illegal use of identity information, the codes are automatically refreshed and come with a floating animation layer.
“We are delighted to launch the digital driver’s license service, which will provide users with greater security and convenience,” said Oh Se-hyeon, vice president and head of blockchain/authentication office at SK Telecom. “Going forward, we will work closely with diverse institutions and enterprises to promote its use in non-face-to-face services, which have surged since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The new digital driver’s license service can be used at CU and GS25 convenience store chains to verify age for the purchase of goods such as alcohol and cigarettes.