The paperless pickle
As of June 8th 2015, the UK will officially wave goodbye to the paper counterpart of a driving licence. The move, in lieu of automated online storage, means that UK drivers will no longer have their endorsements and bans listed on a paper document and whilst welcomed by many, it’s a change that may cause a commotion for continental car-hire.
What this means for you
UK drivers now wishing to hire a vehicle abroad will have to request a special code from the DVLA in order to provide evidence of their driving record. The code will last for up to 72 hours and will allow drivers to download a summary of their driving record, as well as grant access to hire companies to make the necessary checks.
The need-to-know facts:
How to get your code:
You can request your driving licence code from the DVLA, online, by post (cost included) or by calling 0300 083 0013.
Whatever way you apply, you’ll be asked for your driving licence number, national insurance number and post code on your driving licence – so make sure they’re at the ready!
Who needs to apply?
Anyone looking to hire a car in the UK or overseas with a counterpart licence. Motorists with old-style paper driving licences from before 1998 remain valid in the current format. They need not apply and should not be destroyed.
What to do after the 6th June 2015?
The DVLA have advised all 2-part photocard licence-holders to destroy the paper counterpart after this date but to keep , and continue using their current photocard driving licence as normal.
*Please note, this does not affect photocard licences issued by DVA in Northern Ireland.
The switch from paper to online has multiple advantages – most notably drivers will never have to worry about the whereabouts of their counterpart ever again. However, there is concern that not all foreign car firms will be aware of this change in procedure. Many may still insist on examining the paper document which, with no proof, could lead to many brits being turned away without their wheels – hardly an ideal way to start an overseas adventure!
However the DVLA have assured that these changes have been widely publicised and there should not be cause for concern. A spokesman said: “There is up-to-date information on the website and we are working closely with the industry to ensure that their systems and processes are ready for the changes.”
It appears that until it actually happens, no one will know for certain how foreign hire companies will react, but for those seriously worried, getting in contact with their car-hirer to clear-up any concerns they have may be a wise choice.
A wise decision?
The move from paper to online is one in many steps DVLA have taken in their commitment to ‘simplifying their services’, but what do you think? Are you glad that they’ve got rid of the counterpart or fed-up that you’ve got another thing to add to your holiday to-do list? Comment below and send us your thoughts.
In the mean time, be sure to a look at the need-to-know facts on the left, and if you’d like any more information about the paperless change and what it means for you, visit DVLA.
Apply for your DVLA code online here.
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