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DVLA reveals paper licence abolition date

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) have confirmed the date the paper counterpart of Britain’s driving licenses will be abolished. Though originally set for the early part of 2015, drivers will no longer require a paper licence from June 8th, 2015. It means that all licence holders, including those with private plates, will only require their plastic photo licence from summer 2015 onwards as the driving authority becomes increasingly digitised.

Originally, the DVLA were to cancel the paper counterpart of the UK driver licence from January 2015, but later revised the deadline. During November, when this delay was announced, the agency didn’t reveal a new date, but it’s now understood to be coming in the summer. The British Vehicle Renting and Licensing Agency (BVRLA) said that the new six month delay is welcomed as it’ll give members a little breathing space so they can create and test new ways of verifying customers driving details. Gerry Keaney, the BVRLA’s chief executive, said: “We welcome this delay and are happy that the DVLA and the Department for Transport have listened to the needs of some of their biggest customers. The DVLA finally has a clear plan of action for developing its online alternative to the paper counterpart, and we look forward to working with them in delivering a robust, cost-effective solution for the vehicle rental sector.”

Meanwhile, the Freight Transport Association’s (FTA’s) director of policy, Karen Dee, said they’d aired concerns that, with the January date, there wouldn’t be time for many companies to develop new systems. However, the latest six-month delay would allow businesses to create systems to safeguard the rental procedure. Ms Dee added that the delay demonstrates ministers have listened to concerns and allowed enough time for companies to adapt.

In the meantime, regular drivers can expect little to change with their licences. However, from June 8th, individuals will no longer have to keep hold of their paper licence counterpart. Upon reissue of their driving licence, the new photo licence will be received without any form of paper part. Instead, the entire licensing system is becoming increasingly digitised as a way for the DVLA to effectively manage Britain’s drivers whilst reducing their administrative costs. Meanwhile, drivers don’t need to take any action to apply for new licences unless their current ones are running out, and will automatically be transferred onto the DVLA’s new digital and photocard system.

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