Next year the UK will pass a milestone when it completely phases out the traditional, old-fashioned paper driver licence. Once the phase-out is complete, drivers will be able to discard their paper licences in favour of a plastic photo ID. All of the driver's vital information and driving history will be stored on government computers easily accessed by police and other agencies with proper clearance. However, the plans do not sit well with some fleet operators.
The question many are asking is one of how the government will protect private information from unauthorised access. To be fair, the government agencies that have already begun transitioning to electronic records have proved to be the model of efficiency thus far. However, no one has said much about individual consumer security as it relates to private information. Fleet operators are worried that unauthorised individuals may be able to gain access to driver records if the proper controls are not put in place.
There are currently a number of licence check services, like ours, that fleet operators can use to check driver licences and individual records. In fact, our services are almost a necessity in today's day and age. It is one of the few ways fleet operators have of knowing whether drivers are in compliance or not. Nevertheless, access to the data we use is limited. Not anyone can log onto a government website and find out who you are, where you live, and what your driving record is.
The intention is to make sure this does not change after the paper licence is phased out next year. However, until the government outlines specific measures it intends to take, there is no way of knowing what the final product will look like.
Handling the Volume
The main concern, according to Business Car, is the sheer volume of companies that will need access to the information. They suggest anywhere between 1.3 million and 3 million to include hauliers, transport companies, car hire companies, etc. Virtually any company employing a professional driver or leasing a vehicle will have to have access to the system. Of course, each of those companies will have to restrict the access they are given so that only employees needing to see the information can get to it.
The current lack of information means that right now there are no answers to questions and concerns of fleet operators. Until those answers are forthcoming, companies must make use of the tools they have to protect themselves. One of those tools is our Fleet Licence Check service.
We were established in 1987 as a fleet motor claims handling company for UK businesses. We have expanded our service to include licence check services as well. We currently handle about 16,000 motor claims each year along with more than 50,000 licence checks. Our service enables fleet operators to run driver licences through a secure connection that fetches DVLA data and returns it right back to you. Nothing could be more safe or secure. We hope it stays that way.
1. Business Car – http://www.businesscar.co.uk/news/2014/demise-of-paper-licence-set-to-cause-fleet-data-issues