DVLA: Paper Licence No Longer Valid
As of the 8th of June, the paper part of a UK driving licence is no longer valid and will not be issued by the DVLA. The original use of the paper counterpart of a driving licence was to display information that could not be included on the photocard licence, such as vehicle categories you are allowed to drive and any penalty points you may have picked up.
Driver registration was first introduced in 1903, thanks to the Motor Car Act, entitling the holders to “drive a motor car or motor cycle”, until the wording was changed in 1930 to read that the holder was able to “drive or steer a motor car or to drive a motor cycle”. The current document, as mentioned above, lists every category of vehicle that the holder is allowed to drive.
The photocard part of the licence was only introduced outside Northern Ireland in 1998, and anyone who has a licence issued before 1998 is allowed to use that licence, but a photocard must be issued on expiry of the original licence. Those who currently hold a paper licence should know that it now serves no legal purpose and should be destroyed. Of course, the photocard is still required.
The counterpart is being abolished as part of the government’s Red Tape Challenge, which is aimed at reducing the amount of red tape and regulations that come with so many parts of business and society. By getting rid of unnecessary red tape, processes are simplified and people are not put off by excessive bureaucracy.
If you are going to take your driving theory or practical test, the paper counterpart is no longer required, just the photocard. If you do not bring the photocard with you to your test, your test will be cancelled and you will be required to pay again, should you wish to retake it.
For people who drive for a living, there is a new system in place for displaying any entitlement/penalty points to employers. Instead of the defunct paper licence, visit www.viewdrivingrecord.service.gov.uk. Here, you can enter your driving licence number, National Insurance number and postcode and your driving history will be displayed on screen. For sharing your driving record with hire car companies, for example, you can request a unique code from gov.uk, which allows you to share your points and entitlements with companies who require the ability to check your driving records. The code lasts for 21 days.
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