Posted on Jul 30, 2015
On 8 June 2015 the DVLA stopped issuing paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence and existing paper counterparts no longer have any legal status (note that paper driving licences which do not have a photocard part are still valid). Many employers required employees to provide a copy of their paper counterpart on a regular basis as a way of ensuring the employee could continue to drive company vehicles and drive for business purposes. So how do employers ensure that their employees have a valid driving licence and check whether they have penalty points which may impact on their ability to drive company vehicles, rent a car for business use or get insurance?
The DVLA has introduced an online checking system which allows individuals to view their details including the up-to-date position regarding penalties and endorsements. This can also be done by post and telephone. There is also a separate online system, "Share Driving Licence", which enables individuals to give third parties access to their driving licence status, endorsements and what vehicles they can drive, e.g. an employer. The system will require an employee to request a one-time unique code online (which will be valid for only 21 days) and give it to their employer. The employer will use the code and check the employee's details. Arrangements can also be made for an employer to check an employee's driving licence via telephone and post but it is essential for the employee to be involved in the process and give the DVLA permission for the employee to access their driving licence.
Alternatively, employees could be asked to provide a print out of their record from the online system.
Practically this new system could cause employers headaches and changes may need to be made to contracts and policies. Accordingly, it is a good time for employers to review their practices and policies and ensure that adequate procedures are in place. The following should be considered: