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Finland first to unveil a digital driver's license

The digital driving license is to be introduced to the public by the end of this summer.

The app-based driver's licenses will soon be available alongside the familiar plastic versions. Image: Kalevi Rytkölä / Yle

Simo Karppinen, Unit Head at the Finnish Transport and Safety Agency Trafi, says it plans to roll out an app that will function as a free digital driving license by the end of summer. The agency said it expects many Finns to take up the use of the digital driving license as soon as it is released.

The digital license has been in use by a test group who report successfully using the app where proof of identity is required, such as picking up postal packages. Other uses for the digital license include informing the owner of license renewal dates, says Trafi.

Not a replacement

There are no plans to replace the traditional driving license card with the digital app. Rather it will serve as a supplement for now.

Police Inspector Timo Ajaste of the National Police Board notes that replacing traditional cards with digital ones would require a legislative change.

Additionally, the digital driving license will not record the location of its user or serve as a tracking device.