Plastic licences will remain in use but digital licences to be available on smartphones
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has announced its intention to unveil a new digital driving licence system which will be available for use on smartphones.
DVLA is currently developing the system and will test it in September this year. The official release is due to take place in spring 2018, when drivers will no longer be required to hold a plastic card driving licence in their vehicle.
Chief Executive at DVLA, Oliver Morley, claims the new digital storage system will be “quick, easy and secure”. Although plastic licences will remain a requirement, Mr Morley believes digital licences will deter forgery crime.
Official business plans published by the DVLA state: “The digital licence service will only be available to driving licence holders who have authenticated themselves on gov.uk through the existing driving licence service.”
The digital service will be free to use and provides a platform for people to easily and safely share their licence and information with others when required, including employers and insurance providers.
CEO Mr Morley has previously tweeted a photo of a ‘prototype’ digital driving licence storage system which was seemingly operating using the Apple Pay app on an iPhone smartphone.
The DVLA’s modernisation of the driving licence coincides with the aims of The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), which is looking to modernise the practical and theory driving tests and the MOT tests, in response to the age of driverless technology.
According to a spokesperson for the DVSA, the new and updated tests could include elements of virtual reality, while MOT tests will have to take modern technology, such as sensors and cameras, into account.
Speaking in relation to driving skills, the DVSA spokesperson said: “We will also make sure we explore the opportunities for further developing driver training and testing in line with relevant technologies – for example, virtual reality.”
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