It appears that the paper section of the driving licence is to go the way of the dodo around 2015.
The idea is to have all the information on one smart card which could include the licence holder's photo, any endorsements and iris and fingerprint biometrics.
However, the DVLA appears slightly nervous about public reaction to the idea. It knows that the previous government's plan to introduce electronic identity cards failed due to public outrage, and the idea of having almost the same data appearing on a driving licence could provoke a similar backlash.
It is committed to eliminating the paper section, but it is not yet committing itself to what will replace it. The DVLA told industry publication Fleet News that "the UK has yet to decide whether or when a chip might be added" to the driving licence, but it was "continually looking at ways to improve the security of the driving licence".
However, it is known to prefer a smart card solution if possible. The big question is how much data will be included. We can all understand the need for a photograph, but do we really need iris recognition and fingerprints just to be allowed to drive a car? And would that make us more secure, or just more open to identity theft – after all if a thief had your biometric details, you would be pretty vulnerable.