Digital driving licences will, according to the transport secretary, launch in the UK sometime before 2024…
Launch of Digital Driving Licences
Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, has announced that digital provisional driving licences will launch in the UK ‘before’ 2024. In a Tweet, he spoke of a desire to a create a ‘fairer, greener & more efficient’ transport system’; something he attributed to ‘exciting new post-EU freedoms’. He added, “this is a golden chance to shake off the bureaucracy, invest in our future, and realise our potential with world-leading transport that benefits all of Britain”.
If the digital provisional licences are successful, full driving licences will also be digitalised; although physical licences will remain available for those who want them. In addition to digital driving licences, the DVLA intends to launch an app that’ll render paper test certificates obsolete. It also wants digital MOT certificates and booking systems.
Not Exclusively Digital
The DVLA commented on its modernisation strategy. In a statement it said, “we will introduce a digital driving licence for provisional drivers and also start to build a customer account facility. This will ultimately give our customers personalised, easy and secure access to a range of services and allow them more choice in how they transact with us”.
However, it stressed that it wasn’t ruling out physical documentation entirely. The statement continued, “our intention is to build services that are digital by desire; with digital services that are so good that people will choose to use them, making their transactions faster, simpler and with a lower carbon footprint. However, we will not be an exclusively digital organisation; and will ensure we continue to operate as a multi-channel organisation, so that those who cannot go online can still transact with us in other ways”.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, welcomed the plans but expressed concern over security. He said, “these days the one thing drivers are most likely to have with them is their phone. So using it to carry their driver’s licence could be quite handy. The risk is that the more personal data we store on our phones the more tempting a target they become for thieves and hackers”.
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