Driving licence changes – 2015

You may have heard that there are some major driving licence changes happening on 8 June 2015. This is what you need to know!

There are currently two types of driving licence in use in the UK. Most people have a photocard driving licence, which is accompanied by a paper counterpart.

The photocard contains the driver’s photograph and personal details, and the paper counterpart contains details of the classes of vehicle that the driver is permitted to operate, and a record of any penalty points or endorsements that the driver has accrued.

This type of licence has been issued to any new driver, or to anyone who has changed their details, such as their address, since 1998.

According to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) about 7 million driving licence holders have not changed their details since 1998, and these people still hold the old fashioned paper driving licence. This type of licence contains all the driver’s details on one document, including personal details, convictions, endorsements and permitted classes of vehicle.

From 8 June 2015 there are changes that affect both types of licence. If you hold a photocard licence, the paper counterpart to the licence will be abolished completely. This effectively means that on 9 June 2015 you can put the paper counterpart through a shredder. Your photocard licence already contains details of some of the classes of vehicle that you are permitted to drive, but you will no longer carry around a copy of any penalty points, convictions or endorsements on your licence.Image showing Driving Licence Changes

If you still hold a paper licence, this will remain valid until such time as you change any of your details or until the day before your 70th birthday. However, as with the photocard licence, any new penalties or endorsements will no longer be recorded on your licence. If you subsequently change any of the personal details on your licence you will then be required to apply for a photocard licence.

For holders of both types of licence, the full details of the classes of vehicle that you are permitted to operate, and a complete list of any penalties and endorsements that you have accrued will be held on a central record, which can be accessed online. Details from the record can also be provided by phone or by post. The DVLA states that it has introduced these changes in order to streamline its services, and to help cut down on red tape.

In practice, for most drivers these changes will have little impact, except that you will have one less piece of paper to look after. The major impact will occur when you need to prove your driving record, or the classes of vehicle you can drive, to someone else. This may happen if you need to hire a vehicle, or if an employer needs to verify your details.

The easiest option is to use the DVLA’s new online service, View Driving Licence, where you can view all the details on your licence. As the licence holder, you can download these details and print them off as proof of your driving record.

All you need to access this service is your licence number, your National Insurance number and the postcode on your licence.

However, not all organisations will accept your copy of the details. In this circumstance, when you are logged in to the service you can choose the option to Share Your Details. This will generate a one-time access code which you can pass on to whoever needs to check your details. They can then use this code, along with the last eight numbers of your licence, and can view your most up to date details. This online service is the same whether you have a photocard licence or the older paper licence.

Understanding that not everyone is computer literate, the DVLA has also agreed that these details can be provided by phone or by post, but this may take a little longer.

Remember, these change come into effect on 8 June 2015. Until that date you will still need to retain your counterpart licence, and produce it to the courts if requested, or your employer or car hire company. Do not destroy anything until after 8 June 2015.

Category: Motoring News