PM Barzani inaugurates first-ever digital drivers’ license officially

“Now, I own a [digital driving] card,” Barzani said, adding the process went smoothly.
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Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani holds his new digital driver's license in Erbil, August 24, 2022. (Photo: KRG)
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani holds his new digital driver's license in Erbil, August 24, 2022. (Photo: KRG)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Wednesday officially inaugurated the first-ever digital drivers’ license, marking a new stage in the government's digitalization efforts. 

Barzani announced the new system in a presser held inside the General Directorate of Traffic in the capital Erbil, where he personally went through all the processes for obtaining a digital license.

“Now, I own a [digital driving] card,” Barzani said, adding the process went smoothly.

The new system will be a “base” for collecting the population data as well as the provision of other digital services, Barzani said.

The Kurdistan Region has transitioned to a digital system from excessive red-tape and paper-based procedures, he said, adding "it is a new and modern stage."

Barzani extended his appreciation to all those involved in executing the project.

The new scheme is based on a central population information system, through which the government can issue digital IDs for citizens and provide services more efficiently and effectively, the head of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Department of Information Technology Hiwa Afandi, told Kurdistan 24 on Tuesday.

All the license owners’ data are “hosted in KRG's first Tier3 data center for stability, security, and privacy,” Afandi added.

Moreover, state-of-the-art printing technologies are used to issue “standard high-quality driver's license cards,” according to the tech official.

In November 2020, Barzani oversaw the signing ceremony of an agreement between German Mühlbauer Group – a tech company specializing in providing digital services, including smart cards, and ePassport – and the Ministry of Interior to digitalize driver and vehicle licenses and registrations.

“Ending reliance on paperwork and providing digital services is not a choice but a necessity,” he said in a speech during the event.

Read More: Providing digital services 'not a choice but necessity': PM Barzani

The minimum age to obtain a driving permit ranges from 16 to 20 years old, per the new instructions. 

The new digitized system also mitigates the risks of document forgery, according to the government official.

“Each driver's license is linked to a digital number that can be used to verify the identity of the cardholder and the authenticity of the card,” he said.

Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani provides his biometric information for his new digital driver's license, August 24, 2022. (Photo: KRG)
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani provides his biometric information for his new digital driver's license, August 24, 2022. (Photo: KRG)

The KRG Ministry of Interior, the Department of Information Technology (DIT), and Mühlbauer Group have been in talks since 2019 to prepare the project.

Barzani has reiterated his cabinet’s keenness to digitalize the government service provisions as it would facilitate the citizens’’ day-to-day affairs.

“No KRG cabinet has been so digitally progressive as the ninth cabinet,” Afandi said in a speech he delivered during ‘KRG Digital Transformation from concept to reality’ in March.