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Goodbye paper licences

From January 2015, the DVLA will no longer issue the paper counterpart to the photo card driving licence. The move, which is part of the government’s Red Tape Challenge consultation on road transportation, will mean new procedures are required to check an individual’s eligibility to drive.

While individuals will be able to see the information currently shown on the paper counterpart through the View Driving Record Service, the DVLA is developing a service for organisations such as employers and motor traders to check a driver’s entitlement to drive.

This service, Share My Driving Record, will provide third parties with access to the basic information that was held on the paper counterpart to help them determine eligibility to drive.

The DVLA has stated that the service will be free – at least initially – as it replicates the information they would have been able to see on the paper counterpart. It will also be necessary to gain consent from the driver before checking their record, in line with the Data Protection Act 1998.

Organisations will also be able to use other independent services to check driving entitlement. For example, one Insurer offers policyholders access to a service, Licence Check, which provides users with fully documented online record of their search. The DVLA expects to see an increase in the use of these services when the paper counterpart is no longer available.

It is also important to note that some paper licences will still be in circulation. Although many drivers will be able to rip up their paper licences in January 2015, any issued before photo cards were introduced in 1998 will remain valid.

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