DVLA reveals plans for a smartphone driving licence

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Following on from the scrapping of the paper counterpart driving licence, motorists could soon hold a digital licence in their smartphone.

A tweet from the CEO of the DVLA revealed they're working on a smartphone-based driving licence for UK motorists. 

The image, tweeted by the DVLA's Oliver Morley, revealed a prototype digital licence which looks to be sitting in the Apple Wallet section of an iPhone. The app is already put to good use by iPhone users who can store debit cards from the likes of Lloyds TSB and boarding passes in the app.

Mr Morley said the digital licence would be in addition to the plastic card, rather than a replacement but there's currently no timeline for the project.

twitter.com/omorley1

The DVLA has already taken steps towards a more modern service; it scrapped the paper counterpart driving licence almost a year ago in June 2015 and the paper tax disc has been obsolete since October 2014.

CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood told the BBC: "Security has taken a significant step forward to support digital payments on phones, so the framework is in place for other secure applications, such as a digital driving licence.

"There are not many people in the UK that do not carry a smartphone with them every day, so it is a logical next step."

The sneak preview of the project was met with mixed reactions on Twitter.

Philip Amour said: "That's awesome! I have a wallet on me only because of my driver's licence and a Mondo debit card. Keep it up."

While David Flannagan tweeted: "Very cool!"

But some Twitter users were concerned about potential security issues.

Ben Gillam wrote: "Cool idea I guess but easily faked surely?"

And David P Realist said: "No thanks, I want a driving licence, my phone is not my life. If you lose your phone now anyone has access to everything."

But Mr Morley was keen to reassure motorists and said "security [is] our priority".

There's been no mention yet if the app will be available to Android users.

The DVLA are not the only company looking at digitising common UK documents. DeLaRue, the people behind printing British banknotes and passports, has already announced they're working on a paperless passport.

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