The majority of drivers will no longer need to carry the paper counterpart of their driving licence from early June. In fact, they are being positively encouraged to throw it in the bin because from Monday 8 June it will no longer be valid and will cease to be issued by the DVLA.
Only drivers who have not yet converted to a photocard licence or drivers in Northern Ireland whose licences are issued by the DVA need to keep hold of their paper licences.
The paper counterpart was introduced to display driving licence details that could not be included on the photocard. These details include some vehicle categories you are entitled to drive and any endorsement/penalty points.
But now that’s all about to change.
So what is happening and how does it affect you? According to the DVLA website:
Customers with existing paper counterparts
You must retain your current photocard licence but you should destroy your paper counterpart after Monday 8 June.
Customers with paper driving licences
Paper driving licences issued before the photocard was introduced in 1998 will remain valid and should not be destroyed. However, if you need to update your name or address or renew your licence, you will be issued with a photocard only.
Penalty points (endorsements)
From 8 June 2015 new penalty points (endorsements) will only be recorded electronically and will not be printed or written on either photocard licences or paper driving licences. From this date, if you commit an offence you will still have to pay any applicable fine and submit your licence to the court but the way the court deals with the paperwork will change.
For photocard licences, the court will retain the paper counterpart and only return the photocard to you.
For paper licences, the court will return it to you but they won’t have written or printed the offence details on it.
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. Instead, this information will be held on DVLA’s driver record and can be checked online, by phone or post.
How to check your driving licence details
The DVLA’s free ‘View Driving Licence’ service lets you see what details are on your licence, including what vehicles you can drive and any penalty points you may have.
Confirming your driving record to an employer or when hiring a vehicle
After 8 June 2015, if you are hiring a vehicle or you drive for a living and you are asked to provide evidence of your driving record (entitlements and/or penalty points), you will be able to do this online for free by accessing the ‘Share Driving Licence’ service. This service is currently in development but the DVLA say that it will be available before the counterpart is abolished. The service should be used by both paper and photocard driving licence holders and will also allow you to download a summary of your licence record which can be printed or shared.
Alternatively you can call DVLA and give permission for your driving record to be checked verbally by a nominated person/organisation.
More details of the changes can be found on the DVLA website