Scrapping the paper Driving Licence: your questions answered

Driving Licence

Driving Licence and Counterpart – the counterpart is on the way out by June. Image courtesy of DVLA

From June 8th this year, the UK paper counterpart driving licence will be scrapped and no longer issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

The green piece of paper will no longer be valid, and when you renew or change your address on your licence, the DVLA will just send you a new photocard. Note that, if you are in Northern Ireland, this does not affect photocard licences issued by DVA.

This comes as part of a government policy to get rid of red tape, with many elements moving online. MyLicence, a joint venture between the DVLA and the Motor Insurers Bureau has been launched, where drivers can check their details online.

Insurance companies will also be able to check drivers’ licences using MyLicence. It’s anticipated this will stop drivers making false statements when taking out insurance, particularly related to motoring convictions, which might invalidate a policy. Insurers will still require the licence number and permission from the holder before they can obtain this data.

  • So, how will the scrapping of the paper driving licence affect you? We answer some commonly asked questions:

How will I change my address for my licence?

You will still be able to use the counterpart driving licence to change your address with the DVLA, but you can also change your address online. If you’ve only got a paper driving licence, the next time you make alterations to your address or have to renew it, you’ll only be issued with a photocard.

How will police and courts record licence endorsements?

All endorsement notifications will be recorded electronically after any court proceedings and are detailed on the digital driver record held by DVLA. The police can access licence information at the roadside via the Police National Computer, so the scrapping of the paper licence will not change anything.

What about hiring a car?

The DVLA is developing a new digital enquiry service to let employers and car hire companies view information currently only on the driving licence counterpart.

Driving licence information will only be available to those who have a right to see it, and with the knowledge of the driving licence holder.

Can I tear up my paper driving licence?

When DVLA stops issuing the counterpart, you should destroy yours, as it will not be legally valid, but you still need to keep your existing photocard driving licence. If you only have a paper driving licence (for licences issued before 1998) you need to keep it, as these will remain valid and should not be destroyed.

Penalty points for motoring offences will no longer be recorded on paper licences, and the information will instead be held on the DVLA’s digital driver record. You’ll be able to check this online, by phone or by post.

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