In the months leading up to the abolishment of the paper driving licence, the government routinely promised that systems would be in place to handle all contingencies. In fact, abolishing the paper counterpart was delayed by six months in order to give them time to make good on those promises. Unfortunately, the government has not succeeded. That means using our time-tested licence-checking service is still the best option for motoring companies and businesses with company cars.
By this time, there was supposed to be an online system available whereby company owners and fleet managers could quickly check the licences of their workers. Moreover, despite the government announcing plans to eventually charge for the service, it was supposed to be free initially. Not only is it not free, it is not even available. For employers to check the licences of their driving workers, there are two options:
- Call the DVLA phone number and hope for a quick and accurate response; and
- Ask the driver for an identification code that can be used on the consumer website.
The first option is just impractical, as anyone who has ever tried it knows. It could take hours to get anywhere over the telephone. As for the second option, it could work except for a couple of problems:
- Driver Participation – Only a driver can obtain an access code that makes his or her records available online. This is okay if an employer or fleet manager does not mind the driver knowing his/her licence is being checked. In cases where this information needs to be kept under wraps, expecting a driver to participate is futile.
- Temporary Code – The codes drivers can obtain are only temporary. If these are not used within 72 hours, they expire. This might dictate a fleet manager asking an employee for multiple codes if checking a licence were delayed for one reason or another.
Fleet Licence Check is still the best option for checking the licences of your drivers. As always, our software accesses the government database to provide real-time results with little to no effort from you. Checking the licences of your drivers requires nothing more than providing us with the information we need. We run the checks for you so you can worry about the things.
As we have stated in previous posts, there is also some concern regarding the paper counterpart and jurisdictions outside the UK. It is not a given that foreign police agencies will be aware of the new system in the UK. It is also not a given that they will be willing to use a driver-provided access code to check the validity of a driving licence. For this reason, professional drivers are urged to hold onto their paper counterparts for now.
It goes without saying that things are not working as the DVLA had envisioned. Fleet Licence Check remains steadfast in our ability and commitment to providing the licence-checking services you need.
1.Commercial Fleet – http://www.commercialfleet.org/news/latest-news/2015/06/08/fta-urges-government-to-rethink-approach-to-licence-checking