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Automatic Driving Licences

Home » Number Plate News » Automatic Driving Licences In August 2004 DVLA issued its first automatically triggered upgraded driving licence.

How did this come about?

DVLA has been working in partnership with the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) to develop the Automatic Driving Licence Issue (ADLI) project. This is in line with the Government’s objective of ‘Joined-up Government Services’ and contributes to the government target of full electronic service delivery by 2005.

Up until now, to upgrade their driving licence following a test pass, a driver has had to send their copy of their test pass certificate to DVLA. The examiner has also sent in a copy. The test pass details from these certificates have been manually keyed onto DVLA’s database. Last year about 655,000 driving licence upgrade transactions were manually processed in this way. That’s about 2,600 transactions every day. This year DVLA may process around 800,000 upgrade transactions – about 3,200 every day. Under the new system the driver will not have to do anything in order to receive an upgraded driving licence. If they have no change of personal details, have a current photocard driving licence, and have paid the new fee they will qualify to take the new ADLI route. The candidate simply hands over their provisional driving licence to the examiner following their test pass. If the candidate meets the other criteria but has changed address, then the candidate can enter his new address on his licence counterpart. The examiner will send this to DVLA so that we can manually update his drivers record before we automatically issue the licence. The examiner posts the test pass details to DSA’s office in Newcastle where the forms are scanned and an electronic file is then sent to DVLA.

Since June 2004, DVLA has been receiving a file of all test passes from DSA daily, which has been updating our drivers database every night. This saves the manual keying of test pass details at DVLA. Since August 2004 the file has also included a special marker against records where the DSA examiner has confirmed that the driver is eligible for an upgraded driving licence to be issued automatically. DVLA’s computer systems pick up this marker and automatically trigger the printing of a new driving licence. We are now automatically issuing licences for about 15% of those updates but this will increase significantly as more candidates qualify for the ADLI process.

Successful candidates who are not eligible will still need to send their certificate to DVLA to get their upgraded driving licence. If they do not apply within 2 years of passing, they revert to learner status.

What are the benefits?

As ADLI is used more and more by the public, the manual processing of driving licence upgrades will be vastly reduced as will the need to remind customers who have not upgraded their driving licences as the two-year limit to request upgrade approaches. Faster driving licence turnaround time means more customer satisfaction. The system is much simpler for customers, data transmission is more secure and DVLA records will be more accurate.

What’s next?

DSA is continuing to investigate and develop new electronic data capture methods which, once implemented at their test centres, will further reduce notification and turnaround times and consequently improve customer satisfaction. This is a good example of government agencies working together to deliver improvements in service for our customers and efficiencies in transaction processing. And it is a great achievement for DVLA, its Partners Achieving Change Together (PACT) partners and DSA.

Article by Geoff Baxter, taken from DVL Today - Issue 27 - Reproduced under Crown Copyright

Wed, 1 Sep 2004