Your current driving licence will either be a plastic photocard (accompanied by a paper counterpart document) or alternatively an old-style ‘paper’ driving licence if you have never applied for a photocard.
What's coming in June 2015?
From 8 June 2015, driving licence counterparts (the paper document accompanying the plastic photocard licence) will no longer be issued and counterparts already issued will cease to have any legal status.
NB – old ‘paper’ driving licences (the one issued before photocards were introduced in 1998) are not abolished yet – drivers who hold this type of licence need to keep them and they should not destroy them.
The new procedures
From 8 June 2015 the following will apply:-
- If you hold a current photo card driving licence you should keep and use this
- Whether you have a photo card or old ‘paper’ licence, this is the definitive document telling you and the police what vehicles you can drive
- DVLA will be the definitive location and source where penalty point endorsements are recorded; no endorsements for new traffic offences will be recorded on old paper driving licences or paper counterparts, so these documents should not be relied on by anyone needing to know the status of the licence, for example employers
- When you next renew your licence or where you apply to change your name and address, you will only receive a photo card. (Please remember that your licence must have your correct name and up-to-date address on it).
How to check your driving licence online
If you do not have a counterpart paper licence or an old style driving licence without a photograph how do you check your DVLA driver record for endorsements etc?
You can view your licence using the DVLA’s driving licence facility online. To do this you need to know your driving licence number or your full name, date of birth and gender, your post code and your national insurance number. This facility will inform you of the status of your licence, its expiry date, its issue number, the vehicles you are entitled to drive (and whether this is with full or provisional entitlement) and any penalties and disqualifications.
Sharing your driving licence details with others
For drivers who need to allow others to check their driving licence information e.g. employers, car hire companies etc, there will soon be introduced a new Share Driving Licence service that will allow driving licence holders to provide a one-off access code for a third party to check their driving licence. This will clearly be useful for any business to verify that their drivers have the correct driving entitlement. Unless there is a statutory power to allow this, it will not be possible for a third party to gain continuing access to your driving licence data except where you are the holder of the licence and you grant what will be the one-off access to the DVLA record e.g. to an employer.
We will update you further as we approach June 2015, but if you have questions, please contact me.