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Digital motoring records will abolish paper driving licence in 2015

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has spoken out and said that paper driving licence counterparts will be abolished in 2015 as the system becomes ever more digitised. It means that drivers, regardless of whether they have a DVLA reg or private number plates, will no longer need the paper part of their licence.

The DVLA has been making strong moves towards a completely digital system, with the tax disc reforms already resulting in paper discs no longer needed in people’s cars. Now, from 2015, all that will be required of a driving licence is the photo card, with the paper counterpart phased out. Luckily, most people won’t have to take any action at all because they already have an up to date and current photo card. In addition, for those who were issued a paper driving licence before 1998, the changes occurring next year won’t affect them either. For these motorists, it’s essential to keep hold of their licence. When the renewal time comes around, or if they need to update addresses or names, a photo card licence will automatically be generated. In this case, no costs will be incurred. However, for those updating existing photo card licences, a £20 fee will be applied.

The changes have come about after the Department for Transport found that the DVLA could be providing better services whilst saving the taxpayer money in the process. Stephen Hammond, roads minister, said that one of the largest parts of the reform would be abolishing the paper counterpart component of driving licences.

Talking about the changes, a spokesman from the DVLA said: “Timescales for abolishing the driving licence paper counterpart are under discussion. Drivers can already check their licence details online for free via the View Driving Licence service. Once the paper counterpart has been abolished, the electronic record held by DVLA will be the official record. Drivers will continue to be able to check their licence details online, and will also have the ability generate a one-time use code to allow a third party, with the drivers consent, to access this same information online.”

The spokesman added that a PDF copy of licence information could also be downloaded and printed for people’s individual records. There will also be a system for ‘trusted partner’ third parties to check license data as long as they’re given permission by the driver. It means that companies within the car hire industry or fleet operators, for example, will be able to log into the database and check people’s credentials.

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