New ideas! But backlog leaves drivers facing five-month wait for licences

The changes will include moving provisional cards online and removing paper test certificates. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will also develop an app to display virtual licences by 2024.

Reports suggest full licences will also eventually make the transition to digital form, but plastic licences will still be available alongside the app for the foreseeable future.

It is claimed that licences were previously unable to go digital due to EU-related regulations. MOTs will also be updated to suit modern standards, Shapps said, moving to digital booking platforms and discarding paper certificates. The UK government began digitising driving-related documents in June 2015, scrapping the paper counterpart of driving licences, which previously included penalties and the type of vehicle you were allowed to drive.

The report also states: "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.

In meantime motorists are facing potential delays of almost five months for new driving licences because of a backlog at the agency responsible for issuing them. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) conceded that some motorists could be forced to wait between 16 and 20 weeks for paper applications.

The delay has been blamed on social-distancing rules at the DVLA’s HQ in Swansea, which have affected processing times. The organisation has also been hit by strikes on August.

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