I’ve been looking with interest at the recent announcement that trials of using a digital driving licence are set to begin in the UK. The DVLA have been busy developing an electronic version with the aim of providing an easier, quicker and more secure service. The scheme is still being tested and will roll out in September 2018, so in the meantime, I’ve been considering what this will mean, and what key benefits this development will have for those who drive for a living.
The main way you will be able to access your digital driving licence is via your Smartphone, which will display a representation of your card, including your photo and key information such as date of birth, date of issue and date of expiry. The simple design is perfectly integrated with Smartphone software and is a great way of keeping a copy of your licence with you wherever you go, which is particularly handy if you forget or lose your plastic version.
The move to the online world promises better security for licence holders through personal verification and passcode features, as used on other banking apps. Smartphone users will be able to set up fingerprint recognition to ensure that only they can access their licence.
Quick and Easy Validation and Sharing
While the digital driving licence will be more secure, it will also allow you to validate and share your details more easily than before, particularly through fingerprint recognition and secure online sharing websites. With the electronic version, sending a copy of your license to third parties is incredibly straightforward, as you won’t have to access a scanner or other forms. It’s perfect for those of us who are constantly on the go!
Key Information at Your Fingertips
As long as you have an internet connection, the new service will be readily available, allowing drivers to access their full licence details at all times – and quite literally at their fingertips.
The DVLA have been developing a simple storage feature so that digital licences can be stored easily in apps such as Apple Wallet and Android Pay, alongside documents such as air boarding passes, loyalty cards and bank details. This will be particularly handy for keeping all of your key documents in one place, and given the success of existing digital payment apps for phones, the new digital driving licence will fit in seamlessly.
What to Expect
The DVLA have been making a lot of developments recently, with this new scheme following on from the move to get rid of paper versions in June 2016. The advent of a paperless society brings huge benefits for hauliers, eliminating unnecessary paperwork and allowing you to have key digital information at your fingertips, ready to use on the move. It’s important to note, however, that a digital driving licence is an add-on; it won’t be replacing your plastic card, and the feature will only be available to those who authenticate themselves via the gov.uk website. Nonetheless, this new feature is certain to give drivers greater control over their data, and make your journeys ahead just that extra bit smoother.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange is the leading service for matching haulage jobs with available vehicles. They also provide expert articles on topics like digital driving licences and other issues in the freight industry. Over 4,500 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.