Transport secretary Grant Shapps confirms digital driving licences are on the way

Digital driving licences are still on the way, the Transport Secretary has confirmed, with provisional licences set to make the transition by 2024.

Grant Shapps said on Twitter that provisional driving cards would be moved online first, while paper test pass and MoT certificates will also be done away with. Digital full driving licences will then be available at a later date.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) says it is “committed to developing a digital provisional driving licence by 2024”, but points out that the detail of exactly how this will be implemented is “still under consideration”.

In addition to working on digital licences and certificates, the DVLA is creating a “customer account facility” to give customers “personalised, easy and secure access to a range of services and allow them more choice in how they transact” with the organisation.

The DVLA first shared images of what a digital driving licence stored on a smartphone app could look like as long ago as 2018, but nothing much appears to have happened since. Back then it suggested the licence could be stored in a phone ‘wallet’, which can already be used to store debit/credit cards, membership cards, train tickets and various other items.

In recent years, the DVLA has developed new ways for drivers to access many of its services online. As well as saving cash, the processes for submitting paper applications have been subject to major delays recently as strikes and Covid disruption have caused backlogs.

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