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Abolition of the Paper Counterpart - Advice for Fleet Managers and Employers


The DVLA confirmed on 22nd December 2014 that as part of the Government’s Red Tape Challenge initiative, from 8 June 2015, the DVLA will no longer issue the paper counterpart to the photocard.


From this date onwards all paper counterparts will no longer have any legal status.


The only legal source for confirmation of penalty points and endorsements thereafter will be the driver record held by the DVLA.


Many businesses have historically relied upon viewing physical documents, as part of their driver risk management programme. According to the DVLA 22% of drivers are currently using out of date documents. Whilst the information being presented by licence holders to businesses is assumed to be accurate, for many it has been inaccurate, false, or out of date.

Inaccurate , fraudulent and mismatched data causes all kinds of problems and risk for employers and insurance providers.


Does taking information at face value count for anything?

In the insurance world the answer is a very clear “NO!”


In a survey carried out by the Institute of Advanced Motorists over 36% of businesses were not carrying out employee licence checks at all!

All organisations have a legal obligation to ensure drivers are entitled to drive on their behalf.


The failure to confirm this entitlement exposes an organisation to significant legal risks and liabilities, both civil and criminal.


How can licences be checked?
The DVLA currently offer a number of services to their clients.

Some of these will continue to be available whilst they introduce new online solutions.

The cost and availability of the new services is currently under review.

Additional human resource within DVLA to cope with increased business demand is not planned -which may be a significant issue for employers.


Partners with the DVLA have been offering a professional third party licence checking service for many years.

All methods of checking a licence require clear and informed driver consent. Many of these services are available.

DVLA Paper Report Consent from the driver is obtained by completing a D796 form. The form is sent to the DVLA with a cheque or postal order for £5. A paper report is returned within 2-3 weeks.

Total cost including postage is approximately £6 per check plus bank charges, estimated at £1.50.

DVLA Telephone Service

You can also check a driver’s entitlement by phoning DVLA. The driver must give their permission for the enquiry by calling the DVLA themselves first, on an 0300 number. If the driver is physically present at the time of the call, there is no additional charge for the service, but if the driver is not present calls must be made to a premium rate number charged at 51p per minute. The waiting time to get through to an operator will increase with demand and there are limits on the information that can be requested.
Lines are open weekdays 8am to 7pm and Saturday 8am to 2pm.


DVLA View Driving Licence

This service is for personal use only by the licence holder to allow them to see their own licence information. It is unlawful for any third party, including an employer to use or access this data under the Data Protection and Misuse of Computers Acts.


DVLA Share Driving Licence

This is currently in testing phase at the DVLA . The driver will access their own record through “View Driving Licence” and requests a code for the employer to access permitted details. The code is for single use and is only valid for 72 hours. This is a one-off access check with no on-going capability unless the same process is repeated.



The abolition of the paper counterpart gives organisations a long overdue incentive to fully reappraise and address driving licence checking as part of their driver risk management policy and data validation against source information.


Good quality data is essential to employers and the insurance industry today.
We cannot make the most of the data led technologies in the future if we can’t get the simple things right.
With proper validation everyone wins - except the fraudster.


Unknown driver history presents a dilemma to the employer ................. 


Removal of the counterpart will require checks against source data and remove any doubts about the accuracy of that information.

The use of more efficient online services and reliable data validation policies and procedures should lead to a more robust approach to mitigating risk and encouraging corporate responsibility.

Is your business ready for these changes ?

Renewal Info


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