Changes to the Driving Licence

Doing away with the counterpart


Posted on: 26/05/2015   By: Lee Rance

The government recently announced that from the 8th June 2015 they will be abolishing the paper counterpart to the driving licence. One of the reasons for this was a result of the Red Tape Challenge. The Red Tape Challenge is a government initiative that aims to scrap or improve regulations. It was introduced to give business and the general public the opportunity to challenge the Government to get rid of burdensome regulations, to boost business and economic growth and to save taxpayers money.

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The counterpart was originally required to hold the information that could not be included on the photocard. This included vehicle categories, endorsements and penalty points. The information will now only be held electronically on the DVLA’s driver record. Drivers can now also share their licence details with their employers by using the Share Driving Licence service, this can be used to provide evidence of their driving record.

In recent years there have been various changes to the way we tax, insure and MOT our cars. All this information is now held electronically. As you know, when you apply for car tax, the system knows if you have MOT and insurance. The car tax disc is no longer needed to be displayed on the vehicle (See our previous blog), with number plate recognition cameras being used to spot vehicles without tax.

There is less reliance on paper documents being the only proof that you have a legal roadworthy vehicle. Number plate recognition cameras picking up any vehicles that aren’t associated with valid tax, insurance and MOT is making it much more difficult for people to break the law and get away with it, making the roads safer.

The MOT system is also undergoing modernisation to make the process simpler for the MOT trade aiming to improve test quality and road safety.

I have always found the paper counterpart to be a bit unwieldy. We were told the paper counterpart and photocard were not legal documents if they were separated. I ended up not taking either document out but recently I started just taking the photocard with me to be used as ID if necessary. Now the paper counterpart is being abolished we can all carry our driving licences with us at all times.

The DVLA has recommended that drivers destroy their counterparts after June 8.

Until next time.

Lee Rance.