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DVLA: Hold On To Paper Driving Licences For Now

Posted: Tuesday, 04 November 2014

We have been hearing about the eventual phase-out of paper driving licences since the law was changed in 2011. Now less than 12 weeks away, the switch to digital records mean an end to the paper documents that most of us have held for decades. However, the DVLA is recommending some licence holders not destroy their paper documents right away. Paper driving licences will still be necessary under some conditions.

The DVLA says drivers currently possessing both a paper driving licence and a photo ID card can destroy their paper documents as of 1 January 2015. Those without the photo card must retain their paper licences for the time being. When an individual's licence is updated to reflect a change of information or a renewal, a photo card will be issued in place of the paper licence. At that point, the paper document can be destroyed.

Phasing out the paper driving licence is expected to save the Government as much as £8 million. Information normally contained on the licence, such as points and offences will be kept online. The DVLA is currently working on a computer system that will allow access to records by businesses, organisations, and qualified individuals. However, that system could be a long way off.

In the meantime, Fleet Licence Check encourages companies to work with us to provide the routine licence checks necessary for safe operation of company vehicles. Company owners and fleet managers need to remember that they could be held personally responsible for allowing an unsafe or improperly licenced driver to continue working.

System Not Perfect

The new electronic system for driving licences is an improvement over the ageing paper system. However, it is not perfect. The lack of the paper document now requires fleet managers and company owners to take extra, proactive steps to ensure their drivers are working legally. They can no longer rely on a paper document to verify a worker's driving history.

The service provided by Fleet Licence Check makes it easier for companies to keep abreast of their drivers by providing regular checks without any extra effort from the customer. Companies simply submit driver information to Fleet Licence Check and wait for results of the check to be returned. Results are sent securely to the customer to ensure privacy and security.

For more than 20 years, Fleet Licence Check has been providing reliable claims service to motoring companies all over the UK. As an approved provider of licence checks, we handle about 20,000 checks per year. We do not expect that to change once the paper driving licence becomes obsolete next year. If anything, there will be greater need for our services among companies and other organisations looking to limit their liability where company drivers are concerned.

We hope you consider working with us for your claims handling and licence checking needs. We offer one-off service as well as package plans for companies of all sizes. Contact us to learn more.