UK Driver’s Licence Could Be Going Digital

Image: Twitter

UK drivers and iPhone users could be looking at seeing an addition to their iOS Wallet very soon. This work in progress feature would see the driving licence information digitally stored in your phone, much like the growing in popularity Apple Pay and the app’s flight boarding pass capabilities.

Last week the CEO of the UK Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), Oliver Morley teased us via Twitter with what a digital licence might look like:

“So here’s a little prototype of something we’re working on…” was tweeted by Morley above a photo of an iPhone with the Wallet app open, showing a mocked UK Driving Licence amongst other cards you would have once only found in your physical wallet.

The photo shows various missing elements of the current physical card such as address and signature. However, considering the debit/credit card equivalent doesn’t show all its information this shouldn’t be a huge concern. What it does indicate however – just like the debit/credit card equivalent – they won’t be doing away with the physical card, but simply would be an additional option. Even the most technically savvy of us would admit they wouldn’t be confident in currently not carrying their debit card despite it conveniently sitting within an app in their phone, so there is no reason we should currently do so if the licence option was released.

Similar questions were raised by a shocked public and media alike following Morley’s Tweet. He therefore, replied in turn a few days later on Twitter confirming that if it was to be released it would be an add on to the card and not replacement, however, could be a replacement for the now cumbersome, drawer-confined counterpart.

The iOS Wallet app has come to the fore in the past year with Apple’s updated contactless capabilities now being used in all London Underground stations – limiting the necessity of carrying a physical ticket or Oystercard. As well as that most mainstream airlines now offer passengers the opportunity to save their boarding passes in the app opposed to printing off copies. Similarly, the app also can be used to collate digital copies of membership and loyalty cards as well as tickets.

There is no indication of when or indeed if the ‘little prototype’ will be released. However, considering the rise in popularity of half-emptying the contents of our wallet’s various cards, the prospect of doing away with another one is certainly a tempting one.


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