DVLA To Scrap Paper Driving Licence

paper driving lience

In just under a month’s time The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will be scrapping the paper licence which accompanies all UK photocard licenses. This means that paper licences will no longer be valid and will not be issued with any future applications.

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But what does this mean for drivers?

Firstly if you have a paper driving licence (those issued before 1998) these will remain valid and shouldn’t be destroyed. If you need to update your details or renew your licence you will then be issued with a photocard licence.

Secondly, any information about penalty points will now only be accessible either online, by phone or by post. If you commit an offence after the 8th of June you will still have to pay the relevant fees and submit your licence to the court, but the way the court deals with any paperwork will change.

Thirdly if you want to hire a vehicle or you need to provide your employer with your driving licence you will be able to do this online. According to the DVLA this online service is still under development but will be available after the abolishment comes into place.

So there you have it. The DVLA is seeking to modernise the driving licence experience – but do you think it will work or will it just cause havoc for drivers? Leave us a comment below with your thoughts!

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With a passion for great content and all things vehicular, Daniel combines his interests to update our blog with the latest and greatest motoring news.

Comments

  1. Robert H E Brown : May 23, 2015 at 9:26 am

    I think this is crazy and will be particularly difficult for the many people who are not skilled in use computers etc., or do not have them. And in particular the elderly like myself. I have used computers since 1982 but am now finding that it is getting more dificult.

  2. Keith Kendall : May 25, 2015 at 11:37 am

    The Government have a history of making mistakes with computer systems and wasting millions of pounds, I would like to bet this turns into another farse.

  3. This idea has disaster written all over it. Typical Tory Plan, good idea but not thought through properly. As usual it is us, the public, who will be the ones inconvenienced.

  4. Peter boyce : May 25, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    If something is not broke why try to fix it we are relying far to much on doing things online some people are not even able to use tablets or computers

  5. Ann Erskine : May 25, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    This will cause havoc for drivers as if you have to go online to prove your licence is valid for whatever, you will have to come home, go online, either wait for this to be forwarded to whoever needs it, or print a copy off, which is what you would have had in the first place that you are scrapping. Again the consumer suffers and has to do everything themselves because a big organisation cannot be bothered to keep doing it.

  6. I think this could lead to more criminal activity as very personal details are included on your paper part of your licence and if you lose or someone steals your photocard it would probably be easy to insert another photograph and then if they commit an offence it would be your details that would show on any data-base.
    As far as the case of scrapping the road tax disc, this also is a bloody nuisance and a complete con as before one was able to buy a second-hand car with any unused tax on it which helped a great deal if you were short of money but now the DVLA is just taking the piss by making you buy a complete new road tax when they have been already paid for it on that vehicle!

    • I agree with you concerning the Windscreen Tax Disc. When you buy a car there can sometimes be as much as 6 months tax left on that vehicle which now is non-transferable. You then have to re-tax the car meaning the car has now been taxed twice for the same period. I know that the previous owner can claim a refund but only the Complete Months left on the disc. The car has still been Double Taxed for the incomplete months. Stupid,Ill Thought Out,and one thing I have always said is If It’s Not Broken,Don’t Fix It.

  7. why are the government assuming everyone has a computer or access to one i know lots of people that don’t or won’t use new technology why are we not issued a number plate for life and charged annually to keep it irrespective of what car we own .

  8. Synnove Vassiliades : May 26, 2015 at 10:51 am

    Hi,
    Thank you very much for highlighting.
    I am aware of this change but I seem to remember that when you hire a car you need to provide up to date points details to them, by printing off from the DVLA website 12 hours before the hire?
    If this is the case, then this will not work as:
    a) there may be much more than 12 hours travel between leaving home and getting to the destination of the car hire.
    b) the person travelling may or may not have a printer, let alone one that is working, so printing it off within a time limit may not be possible.
    c) the person travelling may or may not have internet access, let alone one that is working, so even getting a code of some sort to the car hire company may not be possible either.

    There are a lot of dependencies here, so unless the car hire company can search and find the details themselves from any country the car hire may take place in, this seems to be somewhat flawed and involves yet again more paperwork and worry (on top of passports, tickets, accommodation etc. etc. ) for the person that is travelling.

    Any up to date information on this would be very welcome.
    Best Regards,
    Synnove

    • Fay Schofield : June 2, 2015 at 11:27 am

      Hi Synnove, this is what the DVLA have to say in regards to car hire and getting rid of the paper licence:

      “From 8 June 2015, you may wish to check with the hire company what they need to see when you hire a vehicle. If you’re asked for evidence of what vehicles you can drive or confirmation of any penalty points, you can request a unique code from GOV.UK which allows you to share your driving licence details or you can download a summary of your driving licence record. The code lasts for up to 72 hours and will allow the hire companies to make any necessary checks.

      If you cannot generate a code online then you can call 0300 083 0013 and DVLA will provide you with a code.

      Alternatively, you can call DVLA on 0300 790 6801 and leave permission for your driving record to be checked verbally by a nominated hire company. This also applies if you have a paper licence that was issued before 1998.

      Not all vehicle hire companies will ask for this information and we advise that you check with your hire company.”

      More information can be found on the DVLA website: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/driving-licence-changes

  9. Vanessa Parslow : May 26, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    I am concerned that if my computer is out of action for any reason then I will not be able to access information or be aware of any alterations etc.

  10. Paul D Hodgkinson : May 26, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    In the short to medium term (at least) this will without doubt, cause complete havoc for private individuals, especially t,hose looking to hire a car in the UK let alone abroad, as well as employers.

    How is any company considering offering employment supposed to establish driving conviction history, which is an essential insurance requirement?

    The efforts of you (and certain other informed organisations) to bring this to the attention of the public is laudable but the same cannot be said of the DVLA.

    I am sure everyone recognises the need to contain public expenditure but I struggle to believe that abolishing the driving licence paper counterpart will really help with reducing the deficit to even the smallest extent. As this has been presented as a ‘fait accompli’ I imagine the decision is irreversible but it will be really sensible if the decision can be revisited and reversed.

  11. Just another way to rip off motorists. The old paper licence doesnt need to be renewed. If you change to a photo card license it is compulsary to renew it every ten years at a cost (currently £10) to the motorist.

  12. I’m sure this will just be another moneymaking scheme for DVLA and will no doubt cause problems for drivers

  13. Iain Cameron : May 26, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    Probably cause a lot more work for someone else, i.e. Not the DVLA. Any idea how this will work if you’re hiring a car in the USA for example?

    • Fay Schofield : June 2, 2015 at 11:28 am

      Hi Iain,

      This is what the DVLA have to say in regards to car hire and getting rid of the paper licence:

      “From 8 June 2015, you may wish to check with the hire company what they need to see when you hire a vehicle. If you’re asked for evidence of what vehicles you can drive or confirmation of any penalty points, you can request a unique code from GOV.UK which allows you to share your driving licence details or you can download a summary of your driving licence record. The code lasts for up to 72 hours and will allow the hire companies to make any necessary checks.

      If you cannot generate a code online then you can call 0300 083 0013 and DVLA will provide you with a code.

      Alternatively, you can call DVLA on 0300 790 6801 and leave permission for your driving record to be checked verbally by a nominated hire company. This also applies if you have a paper licence that was issued before 1998.

      Not all vehicle hire companies will ask for this information and we advise that you check with your hire company.”

      More information can be found on the DVLA website: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/driving-licence-changes

      • I remember what happened about the tax scheme. Brought a motorbike and could not even tax it the online system said i had to go to post office to prove i was uk resident . No problem but it was 8:30 at night in middle of know where 167 miles away from home. Then they took 28 days off a years tax to start it from beginning of month cheers for that !
        As for licence i think its a real crazy idea when will the goverment as us what we would like,.
        its the uninsured & joy riders they should be hitting hard , my insurance renewal went up from £143 -£603 thats 27 years driving on a 1.2 fiesta no points insurance said it was partly due to people driving with no insurance if they lowered prices the there wouldnt be as many people driving with no insurance

      • James Logie : June 3, 2015 at 7:15 am

        I am a bit confused re this licence change.especially regarding information on type of vehicle a person can drive or hire.I have a plastic card type licence,which shows details of the type of car I can hire and drive. It is in the form of symbols and also shows the date it commences and the date it ends.
        Why then do I need another form with information so that I can hire a car etc.?

  14. Graeme Ross : May 28, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    How will this work when hiring in Europe and U.S. where often they ask for the paper copy?

    • Fay Schofield : June 2, 2015 at 11:28 am

      Hi Graeme,

      This is what the DVLA have to say in regards to car hire and getting rid of the paper licence:

      “From 8 June 2015, you may wish to check with the hire company what they need to see when you hire a vehicle. If you’re asked for evidence of what vehicles you can drive or confirmation of any penalty points, you can request a unique code from GOV.UK which allows you to share your driving licence details or you can download a summary of your driving licence record. The code lasts for up to 72 hours and will allow the hire companies to make any necessary checks.

      If you cannot generate a code online then you can call 0300 083 0013 and DVLA will provide you with a code.

      Alternatively, you can call DVLA on 0300 790 6801 and leave permission for your driving record to be checked verbally by a nominated hire company. This also applies if you have a paper licence that was issued before 1998.

      Not all vehicle hire companies will ask for this information and we advise that you check with your hire company.”

      More information can be found on the DVLA website: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/driving-licence-changes

    • ruby barefoot : June 2, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      I’ve never been asked for the paper copy when hiring a car in the US or Europe

  15. Neville Dalton : May 29, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Well the online vehicle tax/renewal system seems to work very well, so this should be a step forward. Let’s just hope that the system is accurate and secure – although BMW recently sent me a letter about a vehicle I p/x’d five years ago because “the DVLA record you as the owner”. So some lucky beggar is riding round on my bike and totting up infringements in my name….??

  16. Jennifer Ross : May 29, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    I really don’t see why we need to change. Isn’t the saying if it isn’t broken why try to fix it. The new way is already broken and does need fixed in my opinion.

  17. Laurence Stuart : May 30, 2015 at 8:24 am

    It sounds like chaos for me. I’m off to Canada at the end of June and am hiring a car at three different times in three different places, so, I can get the number from DVLA before 3 days before I leave and use it for the 1st car but what happens for the next two rentals after I’m already established in Canada?

  18. Makes sence i guess. Not like it gets used or anything. May aswell be online. Just make getting your motorcycle licence alot more simple!

  19. How much money are the DVLA hoping to make on this one!!!

  20. Vincent Jones : May 31, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Forget modernisation this is just about cost cutting (even though we have to pay for the licences and any changes).

    The people that I feel sorry for are those who do not have internet access (and there a lot about – like my father-in-law)

    This government and its’ departments seem fixated on forcing people to use the internet

  21. Why fix a system that’s worked well for so many years. If it’s not broken don’t fix it.

    This sounds like finding work for people who haven’t got enough work to do in the first place

  22. Why fix a system that’s not broken. It’s worked well for years.

    Sounds like finding work for people who don’t have enough to do in the first place

  23. When abroad I am invariably asked for the paper part, hey are not interested in the plastic

  24. Mr T.J. Feasey : May 31, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    Ofcourse it’s a good idea to not have paper licences, we are now in 2015. Everything else is done online ect.

  25. Graham Stanford : June 1, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    That is great,
    Has anyone in the DVLA ever hired a car abroad. I think your will find they require a paper driving licence with your full home address on it.
    Is this going to cause a problem for tourists or do all foreign hire company’s have access to all our information online.

    • ruby barefoot : June 2, 2015 at 9:20 pm

      I’ve never been asked for a paper copy when hiring a car abroad. Your home address is printed on the photocard. In the US they don’t even seem to be aware that we have a paper counterpart

  26. Brian Collins : June 1, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    When hiring a car at an overseas airport the company requires the paper part of the licence. How this affect this situation.?

    • Fay Schofield : June 2, 2015 at 11:29 am

      Hi Brian,

      This is what the DVLA have to say in regards to car hire and getting rid of the paper licence:

      “From 8 June 2015, you may wish to check with the hire company what they need to see when you hire a vehicle. If you’re asked for evidence of what vehicles you can drive or confirmation of any penalty points, you can request a unique code from GOV.UK which allows you to share your driving licence details or you can download a summary of your driving licence record. The code lasts for up to 72 hours and will allow the hire companies to make any necessary checks.

      If you cannot generate a code online then you can call 0300 083 0013 and DVLA will provide you with a code.

      Alternatively, you can call DVLA on 0300 790 6801 and leave permission for your driving record to be checked verbally by a nominated hire company. This also applies if you have a paper licence that was issued before 1998.

      Not all vehicle hire companies will ask for this information and we advise that you check with your hire company.”

      More information can be found on the DVLA website: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/driving-licence-changes

  27. Common sense tells me that this is a rotten idea and will cause lots of problems for holiday makers wanting to hire a car when abroad. What happens if you decide to hire whilst you are abroad and have no access to the internet. Also, how do you expect the elderly to hire abroad but have no access to the internet or do not understand how to use it. The explanations given by DVLA above are totally unacceptable and could easily ruin holidays. I trust the DVLA will have the common sense to reverse this decision before its implemented.

  28. John Willis : June 2, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    If this change goes as well as the cessation of road fund license discs as of October 2014 then watch out! I speak as one who had to fight to get the correct refund after having changed my car. I’;m not certain that DVLA have a clue as to what customer service really means.

  29. Patrick Wilson : June 2, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Considering the DVLA have a habit of making cockups where peoples driving licences are concerned I suspect that this will be no different and fraught with disaster.

  30. Bad idea
    My works takes photocopy a of all paperwork for vehicles every three months. This will be a nightmare as there is no internet access at work it’s a closed network.

  31. Have hired cars in Europe, USA, and GB and never been asked for a paper licence.
    Why would the hire company worry??

  32. Gwynfryn Evans : June 2, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    I notice that some of the comments on this change are unfavourable. I think I agree with these. What is wrong with paper? Your reasons are disingenuous. The reason has nothing to do with modern image or any of that rubbish. It is, as so many Government initiatives are, these days, solely to do with saving money, and nothing else. I realize that these comments will fall on deaf ears; as the man says they are about as effective as ‘projecting saliva into the passing stream’ (where would we be without The Rev. Sydney Smith?). It would not be so bad if the images on the plastic licences looked anything like the owner. In my case the photograph looks something like the drawing of a 5 year-old child who has executed it in the dark.

    Let me comment on your email. The whole thing is peppered and punctuated by bloody adverts, so much so that the tendency would be to dismiss the thing without reading it. Perhaps it is significant that it arrived at my laptop as spam.

    G. Evans.

  33. So when a police man stops you and askes you who you are 9xout of 10 you are require to produce I.D does this mean we get arrested coz i only have my licence card. I dont have passport as i never been out country and utility bills are online . So how are we going to prove who we are

  34. Gwynfryn Evans : June 2, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    What does ‘Your comments are awaiting moderation’ mean? If you mean editing, then say so.

    G. Evans

  35. Be another good one for computer hackers to steal my identity dvla hold your age,address or maybe car theives who want a go with my driving licence

  36. ruby barefoot : June 2, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    I think it’s an excellent idea, I’ve never seen the point of the paper counterpart. When the photocard was first introduced I thought “great, less paper to carry about in my wallet” so was greatly disappointed to find that it came with a large piece of paper that I am supposed to keep with it (yeah, right).

    For those who don’t have internet: Duh, car hire companies do. Use theirs.

    And why has no one commented on the word “abolishment” in the article? The word is “abolition”

  37. Gaynor Jefferson : June 2, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    I can understand the government wanting to introduce this new system because of course it will save a tremendous amount of money. They will also make money by making both the seller and the buyer pay road tax for the same month that the car changes hands. Are we, the public going to share in this by reducing the cost of the road tax?

  38. Steve Brown : June 3, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Hi, I have a photo card driving licence and a paper counterpart. Is the counterpart going to be obsolete? Can I discard it?

  39. The details on the paper counterpart are going to be included in the DVLA database that will show up when your driver number is entered.
    The new photocard licenses are being upgraded to the same standard as passports which will include retinal scans and possibly even DNA data.
    The integration of passport, drivers license, insurance, credit history and even medical data are far advanced and will soon be accessible through a single identifying code.
    This is not just a UK project but a trans-national effort to stream-line all government and law enforcement data checks.

  40. Leigh Darby : June 5, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    Very worrying that your NI no is on the licence. It’s all very well changing the system but it makes things extremely easy for those wishing to steal your identity when all your personal details are on show. Not a good move at all.

  41. As usual it is another inconvenience and a way for DVLA to do less work and charge more money. DVLA were a good organisation that I dislike dealing with now. The tax changes are a way of the government making double money when someone changes their car and anyone with a private plate – double the hassle!!
    I have been trying to ring DVLA for 2 days and all day long the ansaphone tells me they are busy and just cut off the call. How bad is that for a public organisation. I looked on line and got a link to another organisation that will get you through on another number at premium charges. What a blatant way to make money out of the poor motorist.

  42. Typical DVLA, mostly they are just out to make it easier for themselves (or capita when they run/own the entire country). it wouldn’t really make it easier for drivers. car tax is the same, they don’t need to issue discs, have cameras everywhere, could tell immediately if you taxed/untaxed/in road etc. but they can still only tax on a per month basis. handy for them.

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