South Korea pilots mobile driving licences

MOBILE TRIAL: Participants need to verify their identity in person and download the mobile ID app

South Korea’s Ministry of the Interior and Safety and the Korean National Police Agency have begun trialling a mobile driving licence prior to a national rollout and as a first step towards the introduction of other state-issued digital ID documents.

Participants in the trial can create a digital version of their current driving licence by verifying their identity in person at one of 16 driving licence test centres and police stations in the cities of Seoul and Daejeon, downloading the mobile ID app and scanning the NFC chip in their existing document with their smartphone.

New applicants can also obtain a digital driving licence by submitting an application, visiting a participating driving licence test centre, verifying their identity and scanning a QR code at the centre.

“A person with a mobile driving licence no longer needs to carry the plastic one and the digital licence can also be conveniently used online,” the government news agency says.

“It can also prevent leaks of personal information as it merely provides data sought by a third party like driver qualifications when someone seeks to rent a car and age verification when buying cigarettes or alcohol.

“The ministry pledged to ensure safety by applying security technologies such as blockchain and encoding.

“If a mobile licence bearer reports the loss or theft of his or her smartphone, the licence is immediately locked. Even without such a report, a password or biometric authentication is required to access the licence.”

“The ministry will expand the types of mobile IDs starting with a driving licence, and eventually issue such IDs to identify people of national merit, the disabled, youth and foreign residents,” adds.

The pilot is scheduled to last six months with a national rollout of the mobile driving licence scheduled for July.

South Korea pilots mobile driving licences was written by Tom Phillips and published by NFCW.