Paper driving licences are no more

As of Monday morning, the paper portion of your licence will become nothing more than scrap paper.

To modernise and make the system more efficient, the DVLA has done away with the paper portion to track offences and other driving endorsements. Drivers will still be able to access their driving record online at the new Check Your Licence website maintained by the DVLA.

The shift away from paper licences is not expected to create too much inconvenience for normal car drivers. Key points of the change include:

  • Drivers who have both the plastic licence and paper counterpart are advised to destroy the paper licence
  • For all new applications, the DVLA will only provide plastic licences
  • If you only have a paper licence, you should keep hold of them as they will remain valid

For all the information concerning the changes, please see our complete report on the move.

Analysts warn, however, the shift could cause some confusion in the hiring of cars or other vehicles. When hiring a car, companies have previously verified your driving record and endorsement with the paper licence. Now, they will have to check your driving electronically, which could slow down or complicate the process. To complete the hire, drivers will now have to use a new Share Driving Licence service set up by the DVLA to generate a licence check code.

Consumers have historically criticised the UK car hire industry because of rising costs, unfair damage charges and overly-aggressive sales tactics. Now, some consumers are feeling uneasy about granting them electronic access or further complicating the hiring process.

In response to the change, car and van hire company Europcar has created an online system that would allow customers to share their driving details with them prior to actually hiring the car. Other car hire companies are developing similar short-cuts.

The staff at Foray Motor Group will be happy to discuss how the paper-less driving licence may affect tests drives when looking to purchase used cars in Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset or Hampshire.

Image Credit: Amy Whitney (flickr.com)