Updated Driving Licence Changes - 24th February 2015

Plans to abolish the driving licence counterpart at the beginning of 2015 have been put on hold by the DVLA until 8 June 2015. The removal of the counterpart was part of the government’s Red Tape Challenge consultation on road transportation, and the move, part of the DVLA strategic 3 year plan published in April 2014.

Although planned for January 2015, drivers will now have to continue to hold on to the licence counterpart for a while longer, and anyone authorised to see it will still be able to request that the driver produces it. After June drivers may want, and would be permitted, to destroy their counterpart.
Following the date of implementation all driver records will be held on the DVLA server where they can be accessed by the driver should they wish to check their details. Hire companies who need to see the licence counterpart in order to hire out a vehicle will be able to access DVLAs digital enquiry services to check driver records. This will only be possible under data protection requirements, with the drivers consent.

From the date the counterpart is no longer issued, licence checks will be more difficult for employers who will no longer get to see a counterpart, and therefore licence endorsements of their drivers. Companies can, if they wish, access licence details via the same digital service, however, this will more than likely be a paid service.

Many of us thought when the photo card licence was introduced in 1998 it would be the end of the paper licence, which was the main reason for going to a photo card licence. However on launch, instead of being issued with just a photo card licence as expected, we were given a card and a piece of paper. So, the current move to abolish the counterpart is something most of us will probably be happy to see.
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