Digital driving licence on the way


Citizens can already deal with many everyday tasks directly from their mobile phones, for example checking their online bank account and their letters from public authorities. With a digital driving licence, Denmark is taking its first step towards digital IDs.

Proof of identity on your mobile phone – only in Denmark

As part of the government's Coherency Reform of the Public Sector, the Agency for Digitisation is working on developing a driving licence app. The proposal suggests that citizens should be able to access their driving licence via their mobile phone by entering a code or by using their fingerprint. It will be easy and quick to present proof of identity, when an ID can be accessed via a mobile phone.

The driving licence app will be a supplement to the physical driving licence. This is because not all citizens can or will use the app. Moreover, the third EU Directive on driving licences regulates that driving licences must be issued physically. The app can therefore only be used as proof of identity in Denmark.

Digital ID is a new area

The Agency for Digitisation is already operating digital identities such as NemID (the national eID/digital signature solution), but now also digital IDs will be managed by the Agency for Digitisation and the other authorities responsible for the digital driving licence.

"Launching the digital driving licence will be very exciting. It may seem simple, but the app will help us lay the foundations for further work on digital IDs in Denmark. This means that the solutions we find must be applicable in as many other contexts as possible. Therefore, focus is also on a high level of security for the solution. But first, we look forward to launching the digital driving licence."

Rikke Hougaard Zeberg, Director General of the Agency for Digitisation.

A number of things need to be in place before the app can be downloaded on drivers' mobile phones. For instance, the driving licence app must be able to display validated photos of the licence holder, so that we can all rely on the licence. Moreover, the Executive Order on driving licences must reflect that drivers may not only prove their identity with the current red plastic licence, but also with the driving licence app.

Taking international experiences into account

Denmark is part of a small group of countries developing digital IDs. However, Finland is also on its way, and the Finnish Transport Safety Agency, Trafi, has been running a pilot project since December 2017. In the Finnish project, the app has been secured by a sort of “digital watermark”, so that government officials, for example, can see that the user is not using a fake app.

In Finland, the digital driving licence will serve as a supplement to the physical licence. Trafi expects to launch the driving licence app during 2019.

Now, Denmark is also heading towards digital IDs. The Agency for Digitisation, the Danish Ministry of Justice, including the Danish National Police, and the Ministry of Transport, Building, and Housing are running the project together. The driving licence app is expected to be ready for launch by the end of 2020.