The end of an era has arrived for UK motorists with the scrapping of the paper document that accompanies photocard driving licences.
Since 8 June, the paper counterpart is no longer valid and no further documents will be issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), although the changes do not apply in Northern Ireland.
The DVLA said paper counterparts should be destroyed after 8 June but that paper driving licences issued before 1998, when the photocard was introduced, would remain valid. Holders of paper licences that need to renew them or update personal details will be issued with a photocard.
From 8 June, new penalty points will only be recorded electronically. Drivers will still need to submit a photocard or paper licence to the court but the offences will not be recorded on these any way.
The only way to now accurately view any driving endorsements is by accessing the DVLA’s driver records, which can be done free online, by post or phone.
The DVLA said: “If you drive for a living and you’re asked to provide evidence of your driving record (entitlements and/or penalty points), you can do this online for free by accessing our Share Driving Licence service.”
This process includes generating a check code to pass to the person or organisation that needs to view the driving licence details, which can be done online. If this is not possible, drivers can telephone 0300 083 0013 and the DVLA will provide a code.
Jeremy Sirrell, Palmers’ road traffic offence specialist, said: “While drivers will no longer have a physical reminder of penalty points, this must not be a case of out of sight, out of mind and motorists need to be very conscious of any penalty points they have accumulated.
“Motoring offences can involve hefty fines and the impact of a driving ban on your professional and personal life can have far-reaching effects. In the event of a potential ban, expert legal advice and representation is likely to be a wise investment in mitigating penalties. For more information on how Palmers can assist, please contact our Road Traffic Offences team.”