Paper driving licence counterparts scrapped

Paper driving licence counterparts scrapped

The paper counterpart of your driving licence has been scrapped. It took effect as of midnight overnight on Sunday/Monday.

The counterpart shows a driver’s record, including offences and endorsements. It is being replaced by an online service.

The move plans to save motorists millions of pounds and change the way they share their information with employers and car hire companies.

Last year, the DVLA had to replace around 445,000 counterparts because drivers had lost them, for which they were charged £20 each to cover the cost.

From now on, penalty points will only be recorded electronically, and will not be printed or written on either photocard licences or paper driving licences.

However, there are concerns about whether car hire firms abroad will still request to see them.

Offences will still be fined and if necessary, the photocard licence will still need to be submitted to a court.

The information about your endorsement status can be viewed online, by phone or post.

There are 46.4 million licence holders in Great Britain and 37.7 million of those have a photocard driving licence.

What does this mean for you

If you already hold a paper counterpart, after June 8 it will no longer have any legal status. You should destroy your paper counterpart after this date but you still need to keep your current photocard driving licence.

What do I do if have a paper driving licence?

Paper driving licences issued before the photocard was introduced in 1998 will remain valid and should not be destroyed.

If you need to update your name, address or renew your licence, you will be issued with a photocard only.

What if I have penalty points on my licence?

From June 8 new penalty points (endorsements) will only be recorded electronically, and will not be printed or written on either photocard 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 photocard licences, the court will retain the paper counterpart and only return the photocard 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.

This means that from Monday neither the photocard 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 online, by phone or post.

How about the impact on theory tests?

You won’t need to take your paper counterpart with you when you go for your theory or driving test. You must still take your photocard, or your old-style paper licence – your test will be cancelled and you’ll have to pay again if you don’t.

I’m going for a job and need to confirm my driving record to my employer, what do I do?

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 online for free by accessing the DVLA’s online Share Driving Licence service.

The service should be used by both paper and photocard driving licence holders. You can generate a ‘check code’ to pass to the person or organisation that needs to view your driving licence details.

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.

What do I need to know if I’m going to hire a vehicle?

Drivers needing to show their driving record to car hire companies will need to have viewed their licence information online and to have generated a check code so details can be shared with third parties.

The DVLA said car rental companies in the UK and abroad would be well aware of the changes.

You may wish to check with the hire company what they need to see when you hire a vehicle.

The code lasts for up to 72 hours and will allow the hire companies to make any necessary checks. You can also request a code by calling 0300 083 0013. This also applies if you have a paper licence that was issued before 1998.

Not all vehicle hire companies will ask for this information.

If you only decide to hire a car once abroad and the hire company asks to see your record you will need to either log on to GOV.UK to get it or call the DVLA on 0300 790 6801. You will need your national insurance number.