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Our Speaker
Simo Karppinen
Head of Unit Driving Licences, Transport Safety Agency, Finland
eID Forum Partners

Meet our Speaker: Simo Karppinen

My education background is in law (Master of Laws (LL.M.) from the University of Helsinki). I have more than 15 years of experience with managing and developing public services for vehicle registration and more recently for driving licenses. I was involved in developing and introducing the first e-services for both vehicle registration and driving licenses in Finland. I also have experience in creating a model for service management in my agency. I am the process owner for our mobile driving license (currently in public pilot phase) and serve as a chairman to the EReg (Association of European Vehicle and Driver Registration Authorities) topic group XIX on non-physical driving licenses.

The main focus points for widely used public services are the customer view point (easy, attainable and low cost services) and the cost efficiency for the government. This has lead to investing a lot of energy to building e-services that are simple to use and fully automatized (no back office work required). To achieve this we have focused on connecting different government and private sector data systems in order to get rid of all paper form documents and other obstacles for efficient e-services. We are e.g. able to use photos from the Finnish passport registry for driving licenses and are currently building a connection to the central heath care database.

As a part of digitalizing our services we have begun developing a mobile driving license (mDL) for national use in Finland. This project is in public pilot phase and we expect to be able to release the application including the mDL to everyone before the end of this year.

eTalk: Going Digital - Mobile Driving License in Finland

By Simo Karppinen, Head of Unit Driving Licenses, Transport Safety Agency, Finland

Why is the Digitalization of the Finnish Drivers License important for your Country"?

Finland is one of the world leaders in digitalization and our agency (the Finnish Transport Safety Agency) aims to be in the forefront of this development. We are currently building digital driving license services that we hope will be the best in the World. As a part of this process we are preparing a national launch for our mobile driving license (mDL) for this year. The digitalization is important for many reasons, but the main reason is that it brings our customers better services. Digital services are easily available, fast and up to date. We can also offer many services that were not possible in the pre-digital era.


What are the benefits?

Our mDL is designed to work in all of the same use cases as the physical license. It is suitable for verifying a person´s driving privileges and it can also be used for identity and age-limit checks. mDL can in fact be better than the physical card in both of these aspects. In addition our application brings many benefits that could not be achieved with a physical driving license.


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The information on the application is always up-to-date and the mDL always uses the newest available photo of the holder from either the driving license register or the passport register. The application containing the mobile driving license also includes information services and vehicle services. The next steps will be including e-services and notification services . The users will e.g. be able to receive notifications when their driving license is about to expire and to proceed with the renewal. In the future we expect to build solutions with our stakeholders that will enable the use of the mDL for other digital services (e.g. car sharing applications).


The mDL enables the users and stakeholders to easily verify the authenticity of the information on the license from the Finnish driving license register. In addition it contains visual security features that make copying the application very difficult and prevent the use of screen captures. These features are intended to give stakeholders the possibility to skip the electronic verification in situations where the need for stronger verification is not considered vital or it cannot be done for other reasons (e.g. when picking up a package from the post office with a delivery notification). These features have been very well received and they have contributed to our prototype´s success in international competitions for digital services (e.g. winning gold in the European Design Awards this year).

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