UK: The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is warning people to be aware of the changes that have taken effect now the paper counterpart for the driving licence has been scrapped.
As was the case with the abolition of the paper tax disc last October, the IAM fear many people are still confused or unaware of the implications of the scrapping of the paper counterpart.
The counterpart was introduced alongside the photo card driving licence in 1998 to include details such as any endorsements and which category of vehicles you are entitled to drive.
However this information will now be stored electronically and any updates will not be shown on any written documentation you will have. These details can only be obtained via the DVLA driver record system, and be checked online or in writing by post.
As of 8 June 2015 the paper counterpart, or an old-style paper driving licence cannot be relied upon to carry correct or-up-to-date information about endorsements or categories of vehicle someone can drive.
The counterpart will carry no legal status, and the DVLA recommends you destroy it now the changes have come into play.
Something else that has changed is the procedure if you have to surrender your driving licence to a court in the event of an endorsement. The court will take your photocard and if you include the paper counterpart with your submission, the photocard will be returned to you but the counterpart will not.
You will be expected to pay your fine in the normal way however.
Another change is how to provide proof of your driving record to an employer or car hire firm, as your photocard or paper licence will not be enough in itself any more.
You will need to access the DVLA’s Share Driving Licence service for this.
You will be expected to access the details yourself and print those off for submission to a car hire firm or employer. Or you can call the DVLA and give a third party permission to check your driving record verbally.
If you are hiring a vehicle, it is important to check with the car hire firm beforehand what information they need. Other than downloading the information as detailed above, you can also obtain a special code from www.gov.uk which allows the hire firm access to your record for 72 hours to make the necessary checks. This applies to both holders of photocard and paper licences.
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.”