The LTO recently announced that it will be launching a digital version of motorists’ driver’s licenses. This comes after the fact that the supply of plastic cards used for physical licenses is almost all spent, so much so that they’re looking for help from other government agencies. A collaboration with the DICT has brought about the idea of a “super app” and one of its features is to house – yes, you guessed it – a digital driver’s license.
DICT shows mock-up of digital LTO driver’s license
As it stands, every licensed motorist has one receipt and one physical card that serves as the “main” driver’s license. In an ideal world, we have both, but recent events saw many end up with just the paper receipt. Last year saw a proud Department of Transportation and LTO launch the new-design license cards chockful of security features. A little more than a year since it might have been for naught because of this new digital route.
A quick look at the mock-up you see above shows something that looks very similar to the current physical driver’s license card being issued by the LTO. It basically reflects the front of the license that includes all the pertinent information of the driver from the name, address, height, weight, blood type, and the license codes and conditions as well. On the right, we see a bar code, which we can only assume will be readable by some other nifty device to quickly gather information without having to manually type them in.
“The advantage of the digital license is that motorists can present it to law enforcement officers during an apprehension. It is equivalent to presenting the physical driver’s license”, LTO Chief Jay Art Tugade was quoted to say.
We did mention the “Super App” which may be called the eGov PH App, but any other details other than it containing a digital driver’s license are pretty scarce. It’s said that the app will be usable for many “platforms” and may even be able to store IDs and information from other government agencies and services.
On the issue of security, citizens are a bit on the fence when asked about the app. In a report from State-run media, DICT USEC David Almirol explained that the app itself will not contain a citizen’s personal details and will instead link into a/the government agency’s databases and systems from which the information is pulled. Basically, what the DICT is saying is that your information’s security rests on how hacker-proof a government agency’s database is. User-end security, though, like how information is to be accessed and approved via the app was not explained in-depth, and we’re sure a lot are waiting for that.
In any case, reports say that both the app and the digital LTO driver’s license will be available “soon”. How soon? We hope it’s before the supply of plastic cards runs out. And when it does, we hope that all the issues from accessibility to security are addressed in the interest of our information and personal safety.