Transitioning to the discontinuation of the paper driving licence counterpart has been anything but smooth. Even after being delayed by six months in its implementation, putting the system in place has resulted in complications that the government either did not see coming or did not think would be such a big deal. Now fleet operators are calling for more changes to the system in the very near future.
On a positive note, the government's original plan to provide a 72-hour validity code for checking driving licences has been modified to accommodate a code that is now good for 21 days. The fleet industry has welcomed the change in as much as it makes life much easier for car hire companies and some other commercial fleet operators. However, that change alone is not good enough according to some industry representatives. They would like to see a number of additional changes, including:
- Call-Centre Operating Hours – The RAC and others would like to see the DVLA extend the hours of its call-centre in order to accommodate those who may need driver information but who do not have access to the internet. The centre’s current operating hours are limited and, as such, make it very difficult for callers to get through.
- Premium Telephone Service – The car hire industry asked for a premium telephone line to be implemented years ago so that they might check up on drivers at the counter. The industry now believes the fees for this service should be waived when they have to call to check on a driver who does not have a validation code.
- Flexible ID Options – The industry believes the DVLA should be more flexible in its ID options for obtaining validation codes. Rather than insisting on a National Insurance number, they say the government could accept a passport number or another form of identification. The government counters with the fact that every person 16 or older has a National Insurance number.
It does not look as though the government is going to take any of these other suggestions under consideration. Fleet operators may need to be thankful for the changes they have seen and learn how to live with the rest.
Checking up on Your Drivers
Most of what the car hire industry is pushing for does not directly relate to companies like yours that employ drivers to operate company vehicles. Yet that does not mean licence checking is not as important. We submit that it is more important for you because of the liability issues related to unqualified drivers operating your cars and vans. You need to know that anyone who gets behind the wheel of a company vehicle is qualified to do so.
Fleet Licence Check is a company with more than 20 years’ experience in claims handling and licence checking. We can offer you the service you need for regular, reliable licence checks on all of your regular drivers, at a price that we believe you will find reasonable.
1.Fleet News UK – http://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/fleet-industry-news/2015/08/03/dvla-unlikely-to-meet-other-licence-check-requests-after-lengthening-code-lifespan