Driving licences could soon be displayed on motorists' smartphones


As technology progresses, more and more functions are becoming available on mobile phones. From contactless payments to digital boarding passes, there is very little now that can't be done directly from the palm of our hand.

And now it looks like the photocard driving licence, which has been sitting proudly in drivers' wallets since 1998, could soon become part of this digital revolution, as experts have begun to develop a version of the UK license to feature on smartphones.

Chief executive of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), Oliver Morley, showcased an example of this technology recently on Twitter. The photograph showed the driving licence as a 'pass' in the Apple Wallet of an iPhone 6.

Presenting no timeline for the introduction of this technology, Morley was quick to add that the digital license would be used as an 'add-on' to the existing photocard, and not a replacement.

While a long way off, if the photocard driving licence was to make a move onto smartphones, it would follow in the wake of the now antiquated paper counterpart driving licences.

Introduced alongside the card in 1998, the document served to display information such as provisional driving entitlement categories and endorsements or penalty points that were not included on the card.

However, this paper counterpart was abolished on June 8 last year, with all additional license information now available to view on the DVLA's website.

UK developers are also exploring the idea of digital passports, although for the government to accept this concept, an extremely high level of security and anti-counterfeit measures will be required.

Meanwhile, other countries have also been exploring the possibility of digital documents, with the US state of Iowa currently trialing the use of digital ID cards.