IAM warns drivers of impending changes to driving licence

  • Paper counterpart to be scrapped on 8 June 2015
  • Make sure you’re not caught out when hiring a car
  • Paper counterpart will no longer carry any legal status

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is warning company car drivers and retail car buyers to be aware of the changes that will take effect in just over two weeks’ time as the paper counterpart for the driving licence is scrapped.

As was the case with the abolition of the paper tax disc last October, IAM fears many people are still confused or unaware of the implications of the scrapping of the paper counterpart on 8 June.

Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer, said: “People are not aware of how many of the current procedures are changing. Similar to the abolition of the tax disc, they assume much of what has happened before will continue.

“The onus is very much on the individual to obtain the information they need beforehand. So we very much hope people will not be caught unawares.”

The counterpart was introduced alongside the photo card driving licence in 1998 to include details that could not be included on the card itself, such as any endorsements and which category of vehicles you are entitled to drive.

However this information will now be stored electronically and can be only be obtained via the DVLA driver record system, either to be checked online or in writing.

As of 8 June the paper counterpart will carry no legal status and the DVLA is recommending that you destroy it.

If you have to surrender your driving licence to a court in the event of an endorsement, the court will take your photocard and if you include the paper counterpart with your submission, the photocard will be returned to you but the counterpart will not. You will be expected to pay your fine in the normal way.

Another change is how to provide proof of your driving record to an employer or car hire firm, as your photocard or paper licence will not be enough. You will need to access the DVLA’s Share Driving Licence service and print those off for submission to a car hire firm or employer. Or you can call the DVLA and give a third party permission to check your driving record verbally.

If you are hiring a vehicle, it is important to check with the car hire firm beforehand what information they need. Other than downloading the information as detailed above, you can also obtain a special code which allows the hire firm access to your record for 72 hours to make the necessary checks.