From 8 June 2015, the paper counterpart to the photocard UK driving licence will no longer be issued by DVLA. Those already issued will, they say, be invalid.
This does not apply to anyone who has only a paper licence, issued before cards came into use. It only applies to those with a card and a paper counterpart.
This means that if you are hiring a vehicle on or after 8 June this summer and you are asked to provide evidence of your driving record (entitlements and/or penalty points), this will only be accessible online.
The online service is free and known as the Share Driving Licence service. We can’t find a link for that yet on the DVLA website, but you can see a ‘View Driving Licence’ service through the link below and this indeed may be all you need. It’s still quite confusing!
The service should be used by both paper and photocard driving licence holders. To log on, you need your National Insurance number and some of the digits of your licence number.
Once you log on, you can download a summary of your licence record which can be printed or shared. You will also receive a unique code to present to the car hire firm when you arrive to pick up the car. The car rental firm will then be able to use the code to access your driver's record from the DVLA website.
However, the code will be valid for only 72 hours, so those leaving home more than three days before they are due to collect their car will have to find a way to access the DVLA site from abroad.
The big car rental firms will hopefully make all their local offices familiar with this service once it is in force – their representatives say that they are learning and testing, although they were given short notice of the change. Also, many car hire offices only want to see the card licence so this will not be a concern. However, we do advise that you print out your record and take it with you, together with your unique code.
Hire offices can access the service online or by phone (except Sundays). There is a charge for phone calls.
Let’s hope your experience leaves you as happy as the couple in our photo!