Digital driving licences will arrive before 2024

Digital driving licences will arrive before 2024
Digital driving licences will be available by 2024, according to Grant Shapps.

The Transport Secretary confirmed plans to move provisional cards online in a tweet where he outlined a ‘fairer, greener & more efficient’ transport system thanks to ‘exciting new post-EU freedoms’.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is aiming to launch an app that will also spell the end for paper test certificates and bring MOTS into the modern age with digital certificates and booking systems.

Mr Shapps said: "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 successful, full driving licences could be digitised too, although plastic licences will still be available to those who require them.

The DVLA, who currently issure more than 10 million licences a year and hold records for more than 49 million driving licence holders, discussed the move in their strategic plan for 2021-2024:

“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.”

The DVLA's plan offers some reassurance that paper and plastic documents will not be completely phased out: “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, 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."

Perhaps the digitised licences can help the DVLA as they deal with a backlog of 1.4 million applications at their Swansea office.

Do you think a DVLA app will be a good thing for drivers? Would a digital licence make life admin easier to handle? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Save £50 on breakdown cover

Switch to RAC Breakdown Cover and you can save £50 on your AA renewal.* We're the UK’s best breakdown provider as voted by Auto Express drivers 2021.

*For new customers switching to closest equivalent RAC cover level. On selected cover, see full terms for details.