LETTER: Be aware of driving licence changes

editorial image

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is warning people to be aware of the changes that will take effect in a weeks’ time as the paper counterpart for the driving licence is scrapped.

As was the case with the abolition of the paper tax disc, last October, the IAM fear many people are still confused or unaware of the implications of the scrapping of the paper counterpart on June 8.

The counterpart was introduced alongside the photo card driving licence in 1998 to include details that could not be included on the card itself, such as any endorsements and which category of vehicles you are entitled to drive.

This information will now be stored electronically and not be shown on any written documentation you will have.

These details can be only be obtained via the DVLA driver record system, and be checked online or in writing by post.

The counterpart will carry no legal status, and the DVLA recommends you destroy it after June 8.

What is also changing is the procedure if you have to surrender your driving licence to a court in the event of an endorsement.

The court will take your photocard and if you include the paper counterpart with your submission, the photocard will be returned to you but the counterpart will not.

You will be expected to pay your fine in the normal way.

Another change is how to provide proof of your driving record to an employer or car hire firm, as your photocard or paper licence will not be enough in itself any more.

You will need to access the DVLA’s Share Driving Licence service.

You will be expected to access the details yourself and print those off for submission to a car hire firm or employer.

Or you can call the DVLA and give a third party permission to check your driving record verbally.

If you are hiring a vehicle, it is important to check with the car hire firm beforehand what information they need.

Other than downloading the information as detailed above, you can also obtain a special code from www.gov.uk which allows the hire firm access to your record for 72 hours to make the necessary checks.

This applies to both holders of photocard and paper licences.

We very much hope people will not be caught unawares, especially if they don’t want a nasty surprise when arriving to collect their car at the start of their holiday.

Sarah Sillars,

IAM chief executive officer.