The DVLA is set to trial a new driving licence for UK drivers which could see traditional plastic driving licences phased out in the next few years.

Digital driving licences will be introduced as part of post-Brexit measures to make transport “fairer, greener and more efficient”, a Cabinet minister has announced.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps wrote on Twitter that online versions of provisional licences will be made available while the DVLA has committed to developing an app featuring the licences by 2024.

While plastic provisional licences will initially be issued alongside the app government sources indicate the physical licence could be scrapped completely over time.

It is thought that if the rollout if successful then full driving licences could also be digitalised.

A Department for Transport (DfT) source said that the Government was prevented from developing digital licences before Brexit due to EU law.

What the DVLA has said about digital driving licences

In its strategic plan for 2021-2024, the DVLA said: “We will introduce a digital driving licence for provisional drivers and also start to build a customer account facility.

“This will ultimately give our customers personalised, easy and secure access to a range of services and allow them more choice in how they transact with us.

“Our services will be secure, scalable and resilient and we will continue to explore and expand the use of emerging technologies.”

Warning over change to driving licences

Steve Gooding, director of motoring research charity the RAC Foundation, said: “These days the one thing drivers are most likely to have with them is their phone, so using it to carry their driver’s licence could be quite handy.

“The risk is that the more personal data we store on our phones the more tempting a target they become for thieves and hackers.”