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EU Council proposes launch of mobile driver’s licenses for digital wallets

EU Council proposes launch of mobile driver’s licenses for digital wallets

The Council of the European Union has introduced changes to a proposed package of legislation to establish a legal basis for issuing mobile driver’s licenses into European Digital Identity Wallets.

The original pair of proposals came from the EU Commission, as part of a “road safety package.” The package includes a complete overhaul of the EU’s Directive on Driving Licenses, according to report from the Council’s General Secretariat on the proposed amendments.

Changes to the proposal include the alignment of the technical elements of mDLs with the revised eIDAS digital identity regulation. The Council also wants a stronger link between implementing acts and member states’ obligations.

“It is encouraging to see the efforts proposed to increase public road safety throughout the EU and to embrace mobile driving license in the European Digital Wallet which will help in combating identity fraud,” Thales Head of Business Development and Strategic Marketing Neville Pattinson tells Biometric Update in an emailed comment.

The proposals would give mDLs full equivalence with physical driver’s licenses, and give the bearer full choice of which to present. Member states would be expected to make mDLs the only default form of license within 5 years of adopting the implementing acts, with optional issuance before that. Once they reach that point, states will be obligated to recognize the mDLs of other member states.

States will still be expected to issue a physical driver’s license on request, either on its own or in tandem with an mDL. Fees are not allowed, over and above normal driver’s license issuance fees.

European countries will be obligated to limit the data contained in mobile driver’s licenses, and verifications of driving rights not process personal data beyond that necessary to do so. Verifiers are not permitted to retain the data needed for verification, under the proposals.

The proposals set out the specifications for both mDLs and physical driver’s licenses, which must contain a microchip. The chip contains the bearer’s facial image, and depending on the driver’s license requirements of the issuing state, may also include fingerprint and iris biometrics.

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