UK to introduce learners’ mobile driving licenses
The UK’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is developing a digital provisional driving license – the type required while a person learns to drive – with the equivalent for the full mobile driving license (mDL) to be available digitally if the provisional version is deemed a success.
The UK Transport Secretary Grant Schapps brought the plans to people’s attention via a tweet with details and a claim that the introduction of digital provisional licenses is part of a plan to make transport in the UK “fairer, greener & more efficient thanks to our exciting new post-EU freedoms.”
Our transport network will be fairer, greener & more efficient thanks to our exciting new post-EU freedoms.
We will introduce digital driving licences – moving provisional cards online, doing away with paper test certificates & bringing MOTs into the modern age🚗1/5
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) September 16, 2021
The plans were part of the “Driving Change, DVLA Strategic Plan 2021-24” released in April 2021.
The DVLA states it is intending to go increasingly digital, “a long-term strategy that will take time to deliver in full and our priority in this strategic plan will be to redevelop our drivers’ services. This will include improving the digital process of applying for a provisional driving licence as well as other driving licence applications and looking to introduce a digital provisional driving licence” states the strategy.
No specific date is given for a roll out of the digital version or format for the license though the report says innovation will include mobile devices and digital accounts. There have been significant delays to paperwork processing at the DVLA in recent years. The UK policy is being described as a post-Brexit freedom, while the EU is actually already planning the incorporation of mDLs into its digital wallet.
The DVLA concentrates on collecting £7 billion in vehicle taxes per year, but also produces the biometric residency cards for the Home Office.