DVLA testing digital driving licences that can be stored on your phone

The DVLA is developing a digital driving licence that you can store on your iPhone, and I think it’s a great idea. Rather than a physical card, the new licence would be stored on your smartphone, and probably work within Apple’s and Google’s wallet apps. 

Chief executive of the DVLA, Oliver Morley tweeted a picture of an iPhone-based ‘prototype’ early last week, and it looks similar to a boarding pass or loyalty card. However, you shouldn’t throw away your plastic driving licence just yet; Morley says the digital driving licence would be used in addition to the plastic card – not a replacement.

While it might seem outlandish at first, storing your driving licence on your smartphone makes perfect sense. Nowadays we use boarding passes, loyalty cards and even direct debit cards stored on our phones – so why not store our driving licence too? 

However, the biggest challenge the DVLA will face is dealing with authenticity. Electronic driving licences could cause a new wave of easily forged e-licences, undermining the concept entirely. What’s the point in having a quick and easy way to check your details, if people will ask for your plastic card afterwards?

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