Prepare to say goodbye to your paper ‘counterpart’ driving licence
The UK paper counterpart driving licence is to be abolished from 8 June 2015. It’s part of a bureaucracy removal policy by Government motoring agencies estimated to save around £8 million. So we’re setting out to answer your most frequently asked questions on the topic.
Where will I be able to check my licence details?
You will need to go online to use MyLicence, a joint venture between the DVLA and the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB).
Will I have access to everyone else’s licence details?
I still have the same paper licence that was issued before photo licence cards came in. Will that stay valid?
Yes. It will remain valid until your 70th birthday, but if you change your address then you will be required to exchange it for a photocard licence.
If I receive penalty points for a motoring offence, how will they be recorded if there’s no paper licence?
From 8 June 21015 the points will no longer be recorded on paper licences. Instead, endorsement notifications will be recorded electronically and will be held on the DVLA’s digital driver record.
What about roadside checks by the police?
Police officers can already access driver information electronically at the roadside via the Police National Computer.
Will I be able to check my own record?
Yes, either online, by post or on the telephone.
What about if – say – an insurance company wants to check me out?
Insurance companies will be able to check drivers’ licences using MyLicence. The idea is that this will eliminate a lot of fraud in terms of drivers making false statements, as insurers will quickly be able to check their details. Remember, failing to declare convictions could invalidate an insurance policy.
If I need to hire a car and I only have the photocard, won’t they charge me for the additional checks?
Hopefully not. The photocard alone is your legal driving licence. However, there are concerns that access to the MyLicence database may be delayed, leaving car hire firms needing to use the DVLA premium rate telephone enquiry number at 51p a minute.
Should I bring a print-out of my own licence details from the database to save them time and money?
A good idea in principle, but the worry is that it would be relatively easy to falsify a document of this kind, so car rental firms are unlikely to accept it.
How would an insurer gain access to my driving licence details?
An insurer would require your licence number, as well as permission from you, before they can access the data.
Can I get rid of my paper driving licence?
When DVLA stops issuing the counterpart licence, you should destroy yours as it will no longer be a valid document. However, you will need to keep your photocard driving licence.