As part of its annual Digital India week last year, the federal government of India officially launched its digital locker service called DigiLocker, which happens to be a cloud-based service that allows users to store digital versions of various documents issued by different government agencies. This move eliminates the need for carrying the original documents all the time, making things safer and more convenient for those who choose to make use of the service. All one needs to do to get started is create an account on the DigiLocker website or on the Android app by using their mobile number. Individuals can then choose to link their ‘Aadhaar’ number with that account to use additional services.
Not unlike the Social Security Number in the U.S., ‘Aadhaar’ is a national identification number project in India that issues a 12-digit unique identification number for Indian citizens. The number serves as a proof of identity, address and citizenship anywhere in the country, but just like the U.S. Social Security Number, Aadhaar too, is optional and is not a legal requirement. As for the new cloud-based service, those who choose to link their DigiLocker account with their Aadhaar number can now get some really interesting benefits, according to an announcement by the Indian government earlier in the day. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has now reportedly empowered the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in every state to issue digital driver’s licenses which will be accepted as valid by all law enforcement agencies, whether local or national. User-uploaded scanned copies of traditional driver's licenses will also be accepted as valid documents once the states equip local police departments with the technology to verify the legitimacy of these digital documents.
As for the DigiLocker app, it is currently only available on Android, which is understandable, seeing as India is an overwhelmingly Android market, with a recent report suggesting that as many as 97% of all smartphone users in the country use Android-based handsets. Unfortunately for iOS users, there’s no word right now about when the iOS version of the app will hit the App Store. DigiLocker is entirely free to use and does not have any advertisements or in-app purchases. Users are allotted up to 1GB of cloud storage, which should be more than enough to store digital copies of all important documents, including college certificates, property documents, passports, voter ID cards, driver’s licenses and more.