Drivers could be carrying their licenses on their smartphone by 2018, according to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

The governmental agency has plans to roll out a mobile version of the UK drivers license to be used alongside the plastic card licenses in current use, rather than fully replace them.

Digital drivers licenses

DVLA chief executive Oliver Morley tweeted a picture of a digital drivers being stored in the same place as credit cards with in the Apple Pay app found in the latest iPhones.

“So here’s a little prototype of something we’re working on ,” he tweeted alongside the picture.

THe DVLA’s business plan for 2017 to 2018 states that it plans to have a beta version of the digital drivers license available by September this year.

“During 2017/18 we will be developing a quick, easy and secure service to allow customers to view a representation of their driving licence on their smartphone. The driver will be in control of their data, and this can be used to share and validate driver information with trusted third parties through a secure website,” the busienss plan states.

“This service will not replace the full driving licence. 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. This service will be available 24/7, wherever the driver has a web connection.”

Other than that, further details of the DVLA’s digital drivers license ambitions were not revealed. But it would be safe to expect the agency to push the service for both Android and Apple smartphones, both of which offer secure contactless payment services and digital credit card storage in the form of Android Pay and Apple Pay respectively.

Such a digital service is indicative of the digital transformation that the public sector is undergoing, albeit with different departments and agencies progressing at different speeds.

As such, it would appear that the ambition for a ‘digital by default’ public sector is not going to be curtailed, even in the face of challenges faced by the Government Digital Service.

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Roland Moore-Colyer

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

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