Paper licence counterpart scrapped today

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The paper counterpart of the UK driving licence becomes obsolete today after 17 years in existence.

Originally launched in 1998, the paper counterpart listed any penalty points and endorsements on a drivers’ licence.

As of today, 8 June, any endorsements or penalty points will now be stored in an online database that riders and drivers can access, and allow others access to as well.

The paper counterpart’s demise was first revealed in January however despite the lengthy build-up to its scrapping, many riders and drivers are still unaware of the changes to the system.

Industry reaction

According to the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), not enough drivers and riders are aware of the change and the fact that the paper counterpart now has no legal status.

Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer, said: “People are not aware of how many of the current procedures are changing. Similar to the abolition of the tax disc, they assume much of what has happened before will continue.

“The onus is very much on the individual to obtain the information they need beforehand. So we very much hope people will not be caught unawares, especially if they don’t want a nasty surprise when arriving to collect their car at the start of their holiday.”

Sillars’ comment is in reference to hiring vehicles, which usually requires a paper counterpart. Now, when hiring a vehicle, drivers and riders must take their own details (available online or in writing) as a printout or give the vehicle hire company access to their details online.

According to the Department for Transport (DfT), the move to an electronic system will save UK motorists money but also allow authorities and individuals easier access to more accurate information.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Transport Minister, said: “Replacing the counterpart with an online service will save motorists money and reduce unnecessary red tape.

“It will also benefit employers and vehicle hire companies. Relying on the counterpart meant relying on a potentially out of date piece of paper. Now, when the driver chooses to share it, those organisations will be able to see completely accurate information direct from DVLA’s records. This will reduce their risk and improve road safety.”

You can read more on the scrapping of the UK driving licence paper counterpart via the link.

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