The Digital Driver’s License Is a Hit, Should Be Available for Everyone

The days when we could leave our IDs, the driver’s license, and all the other documents at home and only take an iPhone with us aren’t that far.
Digital driver's license in PASS app 1 photo
Photo: Yonhap via The Korea Herald
And South Korea is the living proof in this regard, as the country has recently launched a digital driver’s license app that’s already running on no less than 1 million devices.

The statistics have been provided by telecommunications firms in the country, which worked together to make the whole thing happen.

The new feature is integrated into the PASS app, which was officially launched in July 2018 and comes with dedicated tools to authenticate financial transactions from a mobile phone.

Earlier this year, however, SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus, who are the three major carriers in the country, joined forces to launch a new feature for PASS that would allow users to configure a driver’s license in the app.

Since the June launch, the success of the app has been impressive, to say the least, as the number of downloads skyrocketed every single week.

The digital driver’s license can be used for all sorts of things, including for age verification at a series of convenient stores for the purchase of goods like alcohol. However, the carriers have also worked with the Korean National Police Agency to add more advanced functionality that would allow residents to renew their driver’s licenses right from within the app.

The local authorities want to push things even further and are currently working on a new feature that would essentially allow the app to completely replace the traditional driver’s license. The digital version could thus enable a police officer to verify the identity of the driver and access all the other details that are stored within the app, just like they’d do on a standard license.

Without a doubt, this is a very convenient implementation, and such an approach should be used elsewhere too. Plans to replace IDs with digital versions stored on phones have been around in other countries too, including the United States, where Apple has patented several applications to turn the iPhone into a full replacement for passports and driver’s licenses.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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