The photocard driving licence paper counterpart will no longer be issued from June 8th 2015, the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency has confirmed. From this moment, every existing paper counterpart in the United Kingdom will become invalid and lose its legal status.
What This Means For You
Consequences for a motorist will be minimal. DVLA advice is to destroy the counterpart once it becomes invalid. To minimise the risk of identity theft, it is best to eradicate it with an electric, cross-cut, shredder rather than tearing it in half and placing in a bin. No further action will be required. The photocard element will remain valid. But let us be clear. The change will only relate to the paper counterpart that has accompanied the photocard since its launch in 1998. Every older style, paper only, licence will remain valid and should be preserved.
Part of the purpose of the counterpart – and the older paper only licence – is to provide a means for the authorities to record any penalty points a driver receives after committing an offence. However, once the counterpart is abolished endorsements will be recorded in an online database. Neither a photocard or paper licence will provide a complete picture of a driver's credentials.
Proving Licence Status To Employer Or Hire Company
The DVLA Share Your Licence Service will enable a motorist to confirm his/her licence status. This might be necessary when hiring a vehicle or borrowing an employer's. The motorist will log into a website – that will launch before the counterpart is abolished – and selects the “share your licence” link. This will produce a unique, one-time, access reference code. The employer or hire company will use the code and the last eight digits of the driving licence number to view the required information. The motorist will also be able to print a licence summary record page.
Why Is The Counterpart Being Abolished
A Red Tape Challenge consultation on road transportation inspired the counterpart's abolition. The purpose is to simplify and minimise the regulations that – according to the government and in a broader context than motoring - have “piled up and up”, “hurt business” and damaged the economy. Cutting red tape should also reduce government expenditure. The Challenge aligns with a DVLA Strategic Plan that includes commitments to simplify its services.
The writing has been on the wall for the photocard licence paper counterpart for several years. As early as 2011, the then Transport Secretary Justine Greening said that people: “Shouldn’t have to keep numerous bits of paper just to prove they can drive”.