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UK driving licence and MOT to go digital

DVLA plans to digitalise provisional licences by 2024, before an anticipated switch to digital for full driving licences as well

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The UK’s Driver and Vehicles Licensing Agency has announced plans to launch digital provisional licences and MOT certificates in order to boost efficiency and cut waste. The shift from physical plastic cards and paper documents to digital equivalents is intended to reduce materials usage, speed up administration processes and reduce costs, enabling motorists to use their smartphones or the wallet app, as many of us already do to make card payments.

Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, is in full support of the changes, which will also see the DVLA develop an app to display virtual licences by, we’re promised, 2024. While the agency hasn’t stated any further plans, it’s likely the digitalised provisional licences will one day be followed by digitalised full driving licences, although reports suggest a plastic licence will remain valid even once this happens. That should keep the technophobes happy, like one of our team at cinch, who still cherishes her old paper licence!

On that note, this obviously isn’t the first time the DVLA has embraced digital technology, with the UK agency having scrapped paper tax discs and the paper part of the driving licence for online equivalents in the last decade. Few will have complained about those moves because it’s simplified the payment process, eliminating the need for posted cheques or post office visits to tax a car. Expect plenty to find the same switch for MOT tests to be equally as handy.

We’re all for the simplification of processes through online tools at cinch, because as you may have noted, we’re the faff-free way to buy cars online. With the DVLA’s new plans, it means you’ll soon be able to arrange driving tests and receive your licence on a smartphone, before you go forth and find a car on our site. Talk about plain sailing.