South Africa to deploy smart driving licences

South Africa to deploy smart driving licences

South African government officials have confirmed the country will be introducing smart driving licences by October 2023.

The existing documents will be phased out over five years, with a new licence that has advanced security features and that meets international standards taking their place.

“We are in the process of seeking cabinet approval for the design of the new card this year. This will then be followed by a procurement process that will enable us to pilot the card and introduce the new card in October 2023. Once we start issuing the new card, we will phase out the current card over a five-year period, which should allow the current cards to expire,” Transport minister Fikile Mbalula said last Thursday.

The Automobile Association welcomed the new driving licence cards but said that existing problems around applying and issuing of cards must be resolved.

“We therefore eagerly await the introduction of new online procedures, which are slated to come into force on 17 February, as a way of dealing more effectively with the procedures around driving licence card renewals,” it said.

The AA welcomed Mbalula’s announcement that research is being conducted into extending the validity period of driving licence cards from its current five-year period.

“The AA has urged government to extend the validity period of driving licences from five to 10 years as a way of dealing more effectively with renewals,” it said.


South Korea to trial mDLs

South Korea to trial mDLs

South Korea has launched trials of a blockchain-enabled mobile driving licence (mDL), saying the pilot digital version is as powerful a credential as the physical version.

Participants simply need to download a mobile ID app to create a digital version of their current driving licence, and then verify their identity in person at a driving licence test 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.