Paper driving licence to be abolished in January 2015

Paper driving licences will stop being issued from January 2015 as driving licence services go online, the government has confirmed.

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Paper driving licences will stop being issued from January 2015 as driving licence services go online, the government has confirmed.

‘View Driving Record’, an online service which allows you to find out which vehicles you can drive, penalty points and when your licence expires, is due to formally launch by early September, according to a spokesperson from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

The service has been available in ‘public beta’ on the GOV.UK website since March and was originally due to launch last month.

Although the DVLA declined to explain the delay when contacted by ComputerworldUK, a spokesperson said: "we are working through user feedback from the beta to further improve the service before then."

It is one of 25 government services selected in 2012 to be the first to be redesigned and digitised as part of the ‘digital by default’ agenda to put more public services online, led by the Government Digital Service (GDS).

The DVLA is also working on a service called ‘Share My Driving Record’ which will provide information required from the driver record to those who have a right to see it, such as car hire companies, insurers, employers and driving instructors.

It is currently in prototype, with development on the web-based service due to start next month and the service due to launch ‘later this year’, according to the DVLA.

The DVLA said that people do not need to take any action in response to the abolition of the paper licence, and should just ensure they keep their photocard licence.

Those with solely paper licences, issued before the photocard was introduced in 1998, will not be affected by the changes and should keep their paper licence, the DVLA said. When updating or renewing your licence, from now on you will be issued with a photocard only, the agency added.

The insurance industry hopes that the system will help to improve the accuracy of quotes by allowing insurers to cross check individuals’ driving history when applying for insurance.

Earlier this year the Association of British Insurers (ABI) said that being able to view driving records online would lead to “significant cost savings” for insurers and their customers.

Of the 25 ‘high volume and high profile’ government services being moved online by the GDS, four are now ‘live’. These include electoral registration, student loans applications, renewing patents and applying for lasting power of attorney.

There are a further 17 services in ‘beta’ and four are in ‘alpha’, according to the GOV.UK transformation page.