SK Telecom (NYSE:SKM), together with KT and LG Uplus, today launched a digital driver’s license service on PASS*, an identity authentication app provided by the three mobile carriers.
*Launched in July 2018, PASS currently has 30 million subscribers and is mainly used for authentication in mobile financial transactions.
Developed jointly by the three mobile carriers, the Korean National Police Agency and the Road Traffic Authority (KoRoad), 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.
Subscribers of PASS 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.
The new digital driver’s license service is applied to all stores of convenient store chains CU and GS25. For instance, the digital driver’s license can be used to verify age at convenient stores for the purchase of age-limited goods such as alcohol and cigarettes.
In addition, 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 Korea.
The Korean National Police Agency is 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.
“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 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.