With the scrapping of the old paper driving licence counterpart now just two months away, we are starting to realise some of the additional benefits the new system will afford. For example, drivers will no longer have to produce both a plastic licence and its paper counterpart when dealing with police. On a better note, they will also not have to produce the paper counterpart when attempting to hire a car.
Under the old system, which has been in place since the 1990s, hiring a car requires both the plastic driving licence and the paper counterpart with information about points, violations, and licence classes. A driver attempting to hire a car after having misplaced the paper form is likely to be turned away. That will no longer be the case from June 8 (2015).
On that date, the paper driving licence counterpart will no longer be required. The DVLA has gone so far as to tell drivers that they are free to rip up the document on that date. Both police and car hire firms will be able to look up the information they need utilising the government's central database. Renting a car will be as easy as presenting the hire company with the plastic driving licence.
From June, licence holders with either a plastic or old paper licence will not have to worry about upgrading until their next renewal. Their current documents will remain legal until the expiration date printed on them. At renewal, old licences will be upgraded to the newer licences.
Employers and Driving Licences
It is expected that the new digital driving licence system will benefit employers as well. Under the old system, employers with company vehicles request to see the paper counterpart at first hiring or in cases where there is some concern about the employee's licence. However, if that employee has not upgraded his/her paper document after some incident, the information it contains may not be accurate. As of June 8, that will no longer be a problem.
The information in the government database will be available to employers in real time. For the time being – the government has not said how long – employers will be able to access the database free of charge. The government plans to begin charging a per transaction fee at the end of the introductory term.
Fleet Licence Check can start checking the licences of your drivers right now. We already perform about 20,000 checks annually. We have direct access to the government database, enabling us to run licence checks and return the results directly to our clients. Taking advantage of real-time access means your company always has the latest information about your drivers.
For more than 20 years, we have been offering motoring companies claims handling service and licence checking. We can assist your company with one-off services or a complete package handling all of your needs. Do not wait for the change, get started checking the licences of your company drivers today.