Driving licence changes – your questions answered
Your paper counterpart will become obsolete from June 8, 2015
Here’s our at-a-glance guide to all you need know about driving licence-related changes, fines and other pitfalls that are just waiting to spoil your day.
So what’s the big change?
Unlike the tax disc, your driving licence isn’t being abolished entirely – just the paper counterpart that goes with your photocard.
When is this happening?
The changes take effect from June 8, 2015… so, set your alarm for early o’clock, jump out of bed, tumble jauntily downstairs, locate your paper counterpart and destroy it without delay… or maybe wait to see if the Govt has delayed implementing the changes – again!
What else do I have to do?
Nothing. Providing your details are correct and up to date, your photocard is all you’ll need.
I don’t have a photocard – just an old paper licence. Do I destroy it?
No! If you have an old-style paper licence issued before the photocard was introduced in 1998, you should not destroy it. Furthermore, the green paper licence remains legal and – providing the details are correct – you’re under no obligation to change it to a photo-based version. If you do want to upgrade, though, this can be done for free if you are changing your address, name or adding a driving entitlement . Otherwise, with no change of details, it’ll cost you £17.00 by post or £14.00 for online renewals.
How can I see information about my licence now?
The paper counterpart of your driving licence can be used to tell you how many penalty points you have, when they expire, what classes of vehicles you can drive and when the document itself will expire. So, how will you be able view this vital information once the paper part of your licence disappears? Most of this information is available on the back of the photocard, but is not that clear and easy to read. To help address this, the DVLA has launched its online ‘View Driving Record’ service, which lets you see the data you need by entering your driving licence number, national insurance number and postcode.
View Driving Record: See yours here
Hold on – employers or car hire firms need to see this information, too?
Very true. Many interested parties – such as employers and holiday hire car firms – will want to see the paper counterpart to prove you haven’t got a record for instantly becoming a homicidal psychopath once behind the wheel. Obviously, this won’t be possible with the abolition of the paper counterpart, so the DVLA is developing a new online service to provide your real-time driving data to those who have a genuine reason to request it. The information will only be provided with the knowledge of the licence holder. See our guide to how this could affect you when hiring a car for your overseas holiday here.
I’ve moved and need to change my address… how can I?
The paper counterpart allows you to change your address, so abolishing it could cause confusion for motorists who’ve just moved home and find the additional cost of a £1000 fine somewhat distressing. Not a problem, simply use the DVLA’s online service to change your address.
Change your address: UPdate your driving licence here
Is that it, then?
Yep! It’s not a huge change, but keeping abreast of such changes will ensure you avoid any problems when hiring a car or checking your validity to drive other types of vehicles. This in turn could save you large amounts of cash in fines.
In fact, many motorists will find the changes helpful by cutting the amount of documents they need to carry while travelling both in the UK and abroad.
Why won’t drivers in Nothern Ireland get the Union Flag on their licence?
A spokesperson for the DVA in Northern Ireland told the Belfast Telegraph: ‘In 2012 it was agreed that, recognising the particular sensitivities surrounding symbols in Northern Ireland, NI driving licences, which are produced for the Driver and Vehicle Agency in Swansea by the DVLA, should continue to be produced without the flag or crest.’