Greece to roll out digital ID cards and driving licences

DIGITAL VERSIONS: Greece plans to add ID cards and driving licences to its Covid Free GR Wallet app

Greek citizens will soon be able to download and store digital versions of their full identity card and driving licence on their mobile phone, according to the country’s digital governance minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis.

The announcement follows an update to Greece’s Covid Free GR Wallet app released for both iOS and Android devices in December that enables citizens to generate and display a partial digital ID certificate containing their name, date of birth and photograph that can be used to verify their identity when required to show their Covid-19 vaccination certificate.

Pierrakakis confirmed that the introduction of the partial digital ID was the first step towards launching a fully digital ID card and driving licence in a series of media interviews posted on the Ministry of Digital Governance’s website.

Natural development

“The case of the Covid Free GR Wallet is a very good example of how one service creates the conditions for the next,” Pierrakakis told Vradyni tis Kyriakis newspaper.

“Our initial thought was to get rid of the obligation to always have the Covid certificate with us in printed form or in non-easy-to-use digital, ie in a photo or saved file.

“Gradually, we were asked about not showing our police ID every time with the risk of it being lost or stolen.

“We have thus added the certificate of identity to the application and that has already been used by about one million citizens.

“Our design provides for identification to gradually move from documents to our mobile phone. This is an international best practice, simpler for the citizen and safer for transactions.

“As we said, the first step has already been taken with the identity card and in cooperation with the competent ministries and the independent authorities, and in the coming months we will have more documents in our wallet for every use case and transaction.”

Perriakakis also revealed that new digital services due to be introduced during 2022 included an “Electronic Real Estate File that will give a significant boost to sales, greatly simplifying the process for the notary” and MyAuto, which will contain “all the details for every vehicle at a single point”.

“In January, the distribution of 656,000 digital signatures to companies, freelancers (lawyers, accountants etc) and citizens is expected to begin,” he added.

The full digital ID card and driving licence could be rolled out in Greece “before Easter”, the minister said.

Greece to roll out digital ID cards and driving licences was written by Tom Phillips and published by NFCW.