Driving licence counterpart changes: what you need to know

From today (Monday 8th June 2015), the DVLA will stop issuing the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence, as they continue their aim to digitise motorists’ records.

What was the counterpart for?

The counterpart licence was used to record any endorsements (penalty points) and was often used by employers and car hire companies to confirm a person’s driving record.

Driving convictions and endorsements are still being recorded by the DVLA, but they are now stored electronically and the Police are now able to access information at the roadside via the Police National Computer.

How does this affect me?

The DVLA says that drivers with a photocard driving licence should destroy their paper counterpart and only keep the photocard, remembering to renew it when necessary (gov.uk/renew-driving-licence). Motorists could face a £1,000 fine if they are caught with an invalid licence.

Paper driving licences issued before the photocard was introduced in 1998 will remain valid, and should not be destroyed. The DVLA also confirmed that there would be no charge for changing an old style paper licence to a photocard licence with a change of details. However, once the motorist has the photocard licence, they will have to pay £20 each time it is renewed (every 10 years).

You can now go online to view your driving licence details for free 24 hours a day 7 days a week at gov.uk. For more information on these changes and the abolition of the counterpart visit: gov.uk/dvla/nomorecounterpart

How to use the new ‘share a driving licence’ service

The effect of the changeover is likely to be worst for those hiring cars, because hire companies could want to access the DVLA’s site to check drivers’ full records.

If you’re hiring a car within the next couple of weeks, here’s what to do to be safe:

– Keep and take with you your old printed counterpart anyway, just in case the car hire firm expects to see it (and doesn’t know about the change);

– Before you travel, log in to the DVLA’s site and print off an updated PDF version of your licence, including penalty details;

– Before you travel (and within 72 hours of hiring the car) log in to the DVLA website and obtain a “check code”, which the hire firm can use to see your on-line licence. This is a free, 24/7 service.

There are 2 steps to obtain your check code:

Step 1. The driver licence holder will need to log on to the DVLA View Driving Licence service and click on ‘Share Driving Licence’. This will generate a unique one-time use access code that you will need to share with the hire company, along with the last 8 digits of your driving licence number.

You also have the option to download a summary of your driving licence information and access code – we recommend printing this and taking it with you, just in case.

Step 2. Once in receipt of the access code, the hire company may use this in conjunction with the last 8 digits of the driving licence number to view the latest driving licence information from the DVLA.

Drivers with old style paper driving licences issued before 1998 can also use the Share Driving Licence service.

Link to downloadable guide: gov.uk – How to share your driving licence information – pdf

Video: Driving Licence Changes

Video: How to use the new ‘share a driving licence’ service

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Adler Insurance

Content creator for the Adler Insurance Group.

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