DVLA Digitizes Vital Great Britain Driving License Data and Makes it Available Online With MongoDB



How many points do you have on your license and when do they expire?

This question has most drivers from Great Britain reaching for the paper part of their license (also called counterpart license which, in the UK, is a paper document that lists how many points someone has left) to check the details and see where they stand. That’s if they have any idea where it is, of course.

However, the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is changing all that by digitizing every British driver’s counterpart license. To address the challenge of storing the data of every single British driver and making it easily accessible to users, the DVLA used MongoDB as the main database for its View Driving Licence application.

Drivers can now go online to GOV.UK to check their records, and will soon be able to share their license details online with others. For example, to rent a car, drivers will no longer need to bring their paper counterpart to the car rental counter.

This project is part of the UK government’s Digital by Default scheme, which is a set of criteria that digital teams building government services must meet. The standard exists so that digital solutions are of a consistently high quality and include services that are easily improved, safe, and secure and fulfil user needs. To meet this standard, the DVLA built an open source stack (layers of software that work together to create one solution) with MongoDB as its primary database.

Dudley Ashford, DVLA’s Drivers Service Manager said: “We chose MongoDB as the database for our Integrated Enquiry Platform upon which DVLA’s View Driving Licence service sits. We needed a database that was robust, scalable and able to handle hundreds of millions of requests each year, with the speed of search and response times being absolutely critical.”

“We also wanted the flexibility which open source brings and the ability to scale quickly to meet demand. MongoDB delivered all of this. We are very pleased with the performance to date, with high levels of availability and impressive response times.”

This is one of the flagship transformation projects that the UK is currently rolling out as part of its “Digital by Default” agenda.

Joe Morrissey, Vice President and General Manager, International at MongoDB, said: “Using digital technology to make services more efficient and easy for citizens to use is exactly what we want to see our government agencies do. This is a great example of a data set that should clearly be accessible online.

“However, we know from experience that translating this type of information from hard copy to a digital format can be a tricky technical project. The DVLA has shown that a next generation open source stack based on MongoDB is the very best way of overcoming that large scale challenge.”

Public satisfaction data from the project can be found here: www.gov.uk/performance/view-driving-licence

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