Spotlight On – Driving Licence Changes

Driving Licence Changes are upon us. The paper counterpart to the driving licence was introduced in 1998 to display information that could not fit on the photo-card driving licence.  This includes information about penalty point as well as about provisional vehicle entitlements. As of early June 2015, it has been abolished. DVLA have stopped issuing the paper counterpart and those currently in circulation will no longer have any legal status and should be destroyed. Part of the reason for this change is to reduce the burden on motorists. This information is now freely and easily available on-line.

As a business, you should be checking that those who drive on Company business (including those who use their own vehicles) are eligible to do so: have they got a driving license, is it valid, etc. The paper counterpart was a simple route to check this. That route has not disappeared and has been replaced by an on-line system.

Checking Driver Licence Details on-line

There are many businesses and organisations that currently check the counterpart to ensure their employees are legal to drive and meet their insurance requirements. DVLA have introduced a new on-line driving licence enquiry services in addition to those currently available by phone, post and intermediary. This range of old and new services will allow for driving licence checks to continue after the 8 June.

From 8 June 2015 new penalty points (endorsements) will only be recorded electronically, and will not be printed or written on either photo card licences or paper driving licences. From this date, if you commit an offence you will still have to pay any applicable fine and submit your licence to the court but the way the court deals with the paperwork will change. For photo-card licences, the court will retain the paper counterpart and only return the photo-card to you. For paper licences, the court will return it to you but they won’t have written or printed the offence details on it.

Importantly, this means that from 8 June 2015 neither the photo-card driving licence nor the paper licence will provide an accurate account of any driving endorsements you may have.

Instead, this information will be held on DVLA’s driver record, and can be viewed on-line, by phone or post.

How to view your driving licence details

The free service: View Driving Licence service lets you see what details are on your licence, including what vehicles you can drive and any penalty points you may have.

Confirming the driving record to an employer

If you drive for a living and you’re asked to provide evidence of your driving record (entitlements and/or penalty points), you can do this on-line for free by accessing the new Share Driving Licence service. The service should be used by both paper and photo card driving licence holders. You can generate a ‘check code’ to pass to the person or organisation that needs to view your driving licence details.

If you cannot generate a code on-line then you can call 0300 083 0013 and DVLA will provide you with a code. Alternatively you can call DVLA on 0300 790 6801 and leave permission for your driving record to be checked verbally by a nominated person/organisation.

There is also a step-by-step guide to help you share your driving licence information.

Checking of a Driving Licence

If your organisation regularly checks the counterpart for entitlements or endorsements, you can use the Check driving Licence service to check the licence using the code provided by the driver. With the driver’s consent you can view the details on a driving licence, eg the vehicle categories they’re entitled to drive and any endorsements or penalty points. This service also gives you the option to print or save a copy of the information.

To help companies or employers who use the new service there is a step by step guide. You can make a check by phone if you don’t have a check code to use with the on-line service. You’ll need to ask the driver you’re doing the check on to call DVLA on 0300 790 6801 and leave permission for the check. You can then call DVLA on 0906 139 3837 (calls cost 51p per minute) to check the driver’s details after they’ve given their permission.


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