PAPERLESS LICENCE CHANGE: DON’T GET CAUGHT OUT WHEN DRIVING OR HIRING A VEHICLE ABROAD
The new paperless driving licence comes into effect on June 8. Are you ready for it? Fleet managers are being urged to make sure their drivers are prepared to drive abroad under the new regulations. We’ve collated the information below
The updates to the driving licence
From June 8, the UK driving licence (new style, with photocard) is changing. It will no longer have a paper counterpart. The information that had been stored on your counterpart is now on a DVLA online system called View Driving Licence. You can see it here.
What the updates mean for your business
If your drivers are driving a vehicle abroad, they will be required to show digital confirmation of their licence as well as their UK photocard. This can be done in several ways.
Prior to leaving the country, drivers should access the View Driving Licence system to generate a passcode. This code is used to give hire companies access to the driver’s full record. It is valid for 72 hours, and is generated using a combination of National Insurance Number, driving licence number and postcode (as it is shown on the licence).
The ability to view a digital record of licence endorsements replaces the need to carry a paper counterpart licence.
Should you be worried?
The DVLA is assuring all drivers that the change will take effect smoothly. It’s also in the process of developing a second service for employers to check the licence details of their drivers, or for businesses to check the endorsements of their customers.
Major hire companies and brokers are also reassuring businesses. Hertz has said that it will follow the new system, and Economy Car Hire (one of the largest UK based worldwide hire brokers) state that “customers will be fine to rent without the paper counterpart”.
What your drivers need to take with them when they travel abroad
The DVLA advises all drivers to destroy their paper counterpart on June 8. However, the AA has been advising drivers to keep the document as a failsafe, in case vehicles are hired or stops made in places where the information about the new service has not filtered through.
You can also download and print a PDF of your driving licence information, using the View Driving Licence system. This is advisable as an extra safeguard, for situations where the 72 hour passcode has expired or there is no access to the internet.
Keep National Insurance Numbers handy
Drivers should know their National Insurance Number, as they can’t access View Driving Licence without it. They need to carry their photocard licence, both as proof of ID and ability to drive, and as a source of information for accessing the new system whenever they need to.
The new licence system makes it even more important to have a lenient mobile data contract for drivers going overseas. Your drivers may now need to access the DVLA site at hire company offices, or border control locations.
During the changeover process, we recommend that your drivers carry all documentation listed above, and generate their passcode prior to travelling.