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The risks of non-compliance with licence checking

Posted by: Fleet Licence Check - Wednesday, January 13, 2016


At Fleet Licence Check, we can provide businesses with an electronic driving licence testing and validation facility using DVLA sourced data. With the ability to check penalty points, convictions and endorsements, category entitlement, revoked licenses as well as wrong addresses and expired photocards, our service gives business owners and managers peace of mind that a person’s license is genuine.

But along with sacrificing this reassurance, what are the legal implications of failing to check the validity of a driving license? Could you be committing an offence by overlooking the importance of a licence check and what are the risks associated with non-compliance?

The letter of the law

You might not realise it, but licence checking is a legal requirement, as anyone who allows someone to drive must ensure that person has the correct licence and qualifications to do so.

One of the main pieces of legislation that comes into force with this requirement is the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974). Employers have a duty of care that “must ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of all employees while at work.” For example, if driving a vehicle without the correct category entitlement, members of staff could be putting themselves, other employees, and members of the general public in danger.

Section 87 of the Road Traffic Act (1988) also states that: “it is an offence for a person to cause or permit another person to drive on a road a motor vehicle of any class if that other person is not the holder of a licence authorising him to drive a motor vehicle of that class.” Therefore, garages providing courtesy cars or hire vehicle companies are legally obliged to ensure that drivers operating their fleet are licensed to drive. In addition to breaking the law, any resulting accidents could lead to hefty fines and damages too.

More recently, the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act (2007) introduced a new offence for prosecuting companies for gross failures in the management of health and safety with fatal consequences, which could result from failing to check a driving licence.

Previously, companies could check licence details with relative ease thanks to the paper counterpart. But as of June 2015, this document is no longer valid or issued by the DVLA. So, the only way of knowing whether a license is genuine is to use a service provider like Fleet Licence Check.

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