May 27, 2015

Driving you crazy

Just to add to the things that you now have to do as an employer…the DVLA are no longer issuing or updating the paper counterpart to UK driving licences.

Should you need to check the licences of staff members that drive on your behalf; their paper counterpart will no longer be updated – starting from 8th June.

The Government are presenting this as part of their “Red Tape Challenge” to reduce bureaucracy. However, it may feel more like an additional burden for you!

Verifying your employees’ driving record can be important – particularly those driving commercial vehicles or company cars. You may need to check the categories of vehicle staff can drive or their record of motoring offences. Where someone drives their own vehicle on your behalf, you may still wish to check their endorsements and driving record.

DVLA advice is to destroy the paper counterpart after June 8th but most commentators suggest retaining it for the time being. There is a lack of confidence that the new system will be fully operational initially. Although the paper counterpart may have no legal status after June 8th, it may provide helpful evidence if the new electronic system has bugs initially.

Should your staff need to hire vehicles, you will encounter the same problem. And if you’re going abroad – whether on holiday or business – the same issue will arise. This is the sort of occasion where having your old paper counterpart may just assist.

The new arrangement principally affects people issued with the two part photocard with supplementary paper counterpart. However, DVA will continue to issue two part versions in Northern Ireland! The older “paper only” versions also continue to be valid. People who commit an offence and have to hand in a “paper” version to the court will get it back. However, the offences will not be updated. People who hand in a photocard version with paper counterpart won’t get the paper counterpart back.

In order to obtain authoritative information about driving convictions and endorsements you will have three options. You may make a request by post, by phone or on-line. In every case, you need the authority of the person who is the subject of the enquiry. It may actually be easiest to get them to do the work and print off and provide you with the details.

For instance, your staff can access the service via the www.gov.uk website and then clicking on “Driving and Transport”.  Then click “driving licences” and “view your driving licence information”. The hyper-link to this service is https://www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence They will need their driving licence number and the postcode it shows. Plus, they’ll also need their National Insurance number. A phone service is available via 0300 083 0013.

The service is also available by post. Again they will need the above information and there’s also a £5 fee. Cheques are payable to “DVLA Swansea” and should be sent to:-

Driver Licence Validation Service, DVRE 5, DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AJ 

If you want to know more or need advice on this subject, contact us anytime.

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