South Korean telcos launch digital driver's licence

It will be accepted as identification in convenience stores as well as for driver's licence examinations.

South Korean telcos launch digital driver's licence

South Korean telcos have jointly launched a digital driver's licence that will come in the form of a QR code and bar code, the companies announced on Tuesday.

The plans for the service, done in collaboration between SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus as well as the Korean National Police Agency (KNPA), was first announced back in October last year.

Subscribers of PASS -- an existing identity authentication app used to verify mobile payments operated by SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus -- can register to add their driver's licence onto the app. The app will then form a digital driver's licence that shows the user's photo along with a QR code and bar code.

Screen capture prevention technology, a constantly moving animation layer atop the screen, and code resets have been applied to mitigate against counterfeiting, the telcos said.

Users will only be able to use one smartphone when registering their name for the service, the telcos added.

The three telcos also stressed that they have connected their identity authentication servers to KNPA and Road Traffic Authority's driver's licence system and applied blockchain technology to protect user data.

The digital driver's licence service will initially only be available for use in convenient stores run by chains CU and GS25, driver's licence examinations, the reissuing and renewal of licences, and the issuance of an English version of a licence.

At the same time, the KNPA is currently reviewing plans to apply the service for police work, such for traffic police checks, the telcos said.

The telcos are also in talks with car rental and car-sharing companies to further widen the service's applications, they said.

With COVID-19 still rampant, South Korea has also mandated for facilities, such as fitness centres, clubs, and karaoke bars, within high-risk areas to install QR code readers that must be scanned by patrons before entry.

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