It's the end of the road for the paper counterpart driving licence, which was abolished yesterday. But what practical implications will this have for you and your organisation’s driver verification practices?
The decision to abolish the counterpart is as a result of the government’s Red Tape Challenge consultation on road transportation, simplifying licensing services and undoubtedly contributing to improving road safety.
However, on a practical level this means that, from 8 June 2015, the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence is no longer valid and will no longer be issued by DVLA.
Originally the counterpart was introduced to display driving licence details that could not be included on the photocard, such as vehicle categories you are entitled to drive and any penalty points.
Now, any new penalty points (endorsements) will only be recorded electronically, and will not be printed or written on either photocard licences or paper driving licences.
This means that from 8 June 2015 neither the photocard driving licence nor the paper licence will provide an accurate account of any driving endorsements you may have.
It also means you should destroy your paper counterpart but keep your current photocard driving licence. But don’t confuse the counterpart with paper licences issued before the photocard was introduced in 1998; these will remain valid and should not be destroyed!
Despite simplifying and streamlining the licensing process for drivers, the change will undoubtedly have an impact upon businesses and organisations that need to check the credentials of staff who drive company vehicles, and have done so up to now using the paper counterpart.
If you are responsible for checking the paper counterpart now, how will you make sure your drivers are legal in future?
Individual drivers can check their own driver record online, by phone or post. But for businesses and organisations, there will need to be a consideration of alternative systems to ensure a robust checking process that complies with UK legislation.
As part of our framework for driving licence verification, we offer a solution to all public sector organisations when it comes to checking staff driving records. This delivers online results to driver enquiries directly from the DVLA driver database, ensuring you can act upon the most up-to-date information available.
Whilst on a practical level the changes will immediately affect how we carry out driving licence checks, the new process will support organisations in carrying out with their daily business practices more accurately. In turn this will help in safeguarding employers and contributing to improved safety on our roads.
Want to know more about driving licence verification? Contact us to find out how to access our framework.