No more counterpart?

What you need to know about the changes to paper counterparts and checking your licence

From 8 June 2015, the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence will not be valid and will no longer be issued by DVLA. The counterpart was introduced to display driving licence details that could not be included on the photocard. These details include some vehicle categories you are entitled to drive and any endorsement/penalty points. This does not affect photocard licences issued by DVA in Northern Ireland.

What this means for you
Customers with existing paper counterparts

If you already hold a paper counterpart, after 8 June 2015 it will no longer have any legal status. You should destroy your paper counterpart after this date but you still need to keep your current photocard driving licence.

Customers with paper driving licences

Paper driving licences issued before the photocard was introduced in 1998 will remain valid and should not be destroyed. If you need to update your name, address or renew your licence you will be issued with a photocard only.

Penalty points (endorsements)

From 8 June 2015 new penalty points (endorsements) will only be recorded electronically and will not be printed or written on either photocard licences or paper driving licences. From this date, if you commit an offence you will still have to pay any applicable fine and submit your licence to the court but the way the court deals with the paperwork will change.

For photocard licences, the court will retain the paper counterpart and only return the photocard to you.

For paper licences, the court will return it to you but they won’t have written or printed the offence details on it.

This means that from 8 June 2015 neither the photocard driving licence nor the paper licence will provide an accurate account of any driving endorsements you may have. Instead, this information will be held on DVLA’s driver record and can be checked online, by phone or post.

How to view your driving licence details

It is free to check the details on your licence, including what vehicles you can drive and any penalty points you may have. This service replaces the paper counterpart of your licence and can be accessed via the GOV.UK website. You will require your driving licence number, your National Insurance number and your home post code. You can use this service to view your driving record, e.g. vehicles you can drive and create a licence ‘check code’ to share your driving record. The ‘check code’ will allow someone to see what vehicles you can drive, any penalty points or disqualifications you have, and the last 8 characters of your driving licence number. You can’t use this service if your licence was issued in Northern Ireland, to check the progress of a licence application, and to check historical information, e.g. expired penalty points.

Confirming your driving record to an employer or your car insurance company

You may want to share your driving record with people such as employers, insurers, etc. If you’re asked to provide evidence of your driving record (entitlements and/or penalty points) you’ll be able to do this online for free by going to GOV.UK and search “view driving licence”. The service should be used by both paper and photocard driving licence holders. You’ll be able to generate a “check code” to pass on to the person or organisation that needs to view your driving licence details. To protect your privacy each code is only valid for 72 hours and can only be used once.

For easy instructions to get a “check code” click here

Hiring a vehicle: how to prove your driving record after 8 June 2015

From 8 June 2015, you may wish to check with the hire company what they need to see when you hire a vehicle. If you are asked for evidence of what vehicles you can drive or confirmation of any penalty points, you can get a “check code” from GOV.UK which will allow you to share your driving licence details or you can download a summary of your driving licence record. The code will last for up to 72 hours and will allow the hire companies to make any necessary checks. You can also request a code by calling 0300 083 0013. This also applies if you have a paper licence that was issued before 1998.

Not all vehicle hire companies will ask for this information and we advise that you check with your hire company.

Why is the counterpart being abolished?

The decision to abolish the counterpart is as a result of the government’s Red Tape Challenge consultation on road transportation. It also aligns to the DVLA Strategic Plan which includes a commitment to simplifying their services.

This article has been taken from the Gov.UK website and can be accessed here.

The content is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0, except where otherwise stated and can be accessed here.

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