Jul 8, 2022

Driving licence or college enrolments through blockchain identity attestation services?

Since in a previous article we presented the general characteristics of the IDBC project – Identity Attestation Service in Decentralized Environments based on blockchain technologies, in this one we will have a more applied approach. You can see below the usefulness of identity attestation service in two different situations.

Example 1. Obtaining a driving license

Currently, a person wishing to obtain the driving license must submit to DRPCIV several documents on paper, in order to be accepted for examination: standard application, school record sheet, declaration of consent regarding the issuance of the criminal record and proof of payment of the equivalent value of the driving license.

We can see from the outset that each of these documents could easily be issued and used in electronic form. The standard application and declaration of consent are nothing but attestations that the candidate can generate directly in electronic format, by filling in forms with his/her personal data and by signing them with a qualified electronic signature.

For the context, a qualified electronic signature is an electronic signature equivalent in terms of legal effects with a handwritten signature on paper – these legal effects are recognized by the European eIDAS Regulation no. 910/2014. Therefore, any person using qualified signature services may also generate in electronic form both the application and the declaration of consent, and – according to the legislation in force – any public institution (including the DRPCIV) is obliged to receive the documents in electronic form and to acknowledge their validity.

Next, in order to be able to submit the file in electronic form, the candidate would need the school record issued in electronic form by the driver school where he/she graduated the theoretical and practical training courses. Therefore, in order to be able to issue such an electronic document, the driving school could use the services of electronic identity attestation. However, for the acceptance of the dossier in electronic format, also the DRPCIV would need an electronic service to validate the attestations received. Furthermore, in the case of passing the examination, the driving license could be issued both in physical form and as an electronic attestation related to the electronic identity of the holder. Basically, DRPCIV would issue an electronic driver attestation which the holder would store in his electronic identity wallet.

Example 2. College enrolment

College enrolment exclusively online can be made by sending the high school diploma and all other necessary documents in electronic form, generically called electronic identity attestations.

Since for college enrolment, copies of the birth certificate, identity card, high school diploma and transcript are required, for the online college enrolment to become a reality, all these documents should also be issued in electronic form by the state authorities.

In other words, issuing authorities should use electronic identity attestation services. Alternatively, as the registration process also allows for certified copies, a notary could use electronic identity attestation services to issue electronic attestations based on existing paper documents, and these electronic attestations would be legally equivalent to certified copies of original documents.

Thus, an electronic attestation would be made only once on the basis of a document on paper and could then be used whenever necessary in electronic form.

Further on, upon completion of higher education, the college could issue to the graduate the bachelor's degree and the diploma supplement in physical format, but also as electronic attestations, so that any subsequent employment process can be carried out exclusively online, without unnecessary roads, wasted time and hassle.

Examples of the use of electronic identity and electronic attestations are extremely numerous. Basically, any economic or administrative process that is currently carried out using documents on paper can be transposed into the digital environment if there is this infrastructure of electronic identity attestation services.

Although the IDBC project is still at an early stage and the definition of the most appropriate use cases is part of a later stage, the above examples of the issuance and use of the driving license or diplomas in electronic form illustrate what electronic identity attestation means, what these services could be used for and what the potential economic and social impact of their use is.

certSIGN, as Beneficiary, in partnership with the University of Bucharest – Faculty of Mathematics, carries out, starting with 14.10.2021, the project "Identity attestation services in decentralized environments based on blockchain technologies (IDBC)”.

The project is co-financed by the ERDF Fund, the European Regional Development Fund, through the Competitiveness Operational Programme 2014 2020.