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DVLA reports 50% rise in digital interactions

14/01/19

Mark Say Managing Editor

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has reported a 50% increase for its digital interactions with the public last year, hitting a total of nearly 1.28 billion.

Man using smartphone

It said the proportion of its interactions carried out online has also risen from 96.1% to 97.6%, and that it plans to launch several new digital services this year. These will include the ability to register a vehicle and register a trailer, and a service to apply for a tachograph card online for the first time.

A blogpost from the agency says the fastest growing service is for owners to inform it they have sold, transferred or bought a vehicle, digital take-up for which increased from 55.8% to 67.6%. It says this has been fuelled by raising awareness among retailers and a social media campaign aimed at the public.

The number of webchats with DVLA also increased last year, from 268,145 to 307,452, with more than 130,000 of the total focused on the service to view or share a driving licence.

Chatbot factor

“The introduction of chatbots (a computer program that simulates human conversation through voice commands, text chats or both) has also allowed us to increase efficiency and streamline the process of getting customers to the best answer,” the blog says.

It also highlights efforts to improve the agency’s application for working through Amazon Alexa, pointing to a change in the invocation name – which begins the interaction with the voice assistant – from ‘Ask vehicle enquiry’ to ‘DVLA’. This has increased the number of people using the skill, but also led to them asking more questions it was not designed to handle.

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

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