Vitako started a Blockchain-Lab

Verifying drivers’ licenses by using distributed ledger technology

Members of Vitako are currently testing distributed ledger technology and therefore started a Vitako Blockchain lab. The idea is to gain experience with this key issue and establish a good-practice for the use of this approach in combination with eGovernment applications. The test case is concerned with verifying drivers’ licenses.

Travelling today is easy – the process of ordering and paying tickets for travel by air, bus or rail can be done today completely online. Only hiring a car requires personal appearance and causes frictions in the process. You have to stop by the agency office and produce a valid driver’s license to the agents of the car rental company so that they can check the validity of the driver’s license at the time of hiring. This is not done to check personal data or to prove your identity as a customer but due to regulations. In Vitako’s Blockchain lab, this data – validity of the license given or not – will be extracted from the German municipal registries for driving permits and will be stored under a pseudonym in a Blockchain. Car rental companies or fleet managers will be able to search the Blockchain data and immediately verify whether a customer holds a valid driving license. No additional personal data will be transferred. Vitako members started this Blockchain-pilot with the idea of completely digitizing the car hiring process.

Blockchain is a highly decentralized concept and as of today secure against forgery by design. It can be considered as a digital ledger in which every record will be stored in blocks distributed across many clients. Each block includes the hash of the prior block in a Blockchain, hence the name. Every transaction is transparent and cannot be altered without the alteration of subsequent blocks. This confirms the integrity of data.

Christine Siegfried, Vitako (Germany)