The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has extended the time period within which drivers can share their licence details with third parties from three days to three weeks.
Following the abolition of the traditional paper counterpart to the driving licence on June 8, the DVLA introduced an online system that allowed the electronic checking of all driving licences.
However to do so, drivers have to generate an access code from the DVLA website, which could then be used just once by a third party, such as an employer or daily rental company, to check that the licence details were valid and did not carry excessive endorsements.
The access code was originally only going to be valid for three days, which caused an outcry amongst fleet operators due to the shortness of the time available to verify drivers’ licence details and to ensure they were legally entitled to drive the cars they were allocated.
Now, the DVLA has announced that the access code will be valid for a 21 day period, giving companies more time in which to carry out the necessary checks.
The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association claimed the new rule was a common sense approach that would reduce queues at rental desks and give millions of renters more time to plan and arrive prepared ahead of their journey.
How to use the new system
The new online system which replaces the old manual one comprises a ‘View Driving Licence’ facility which is available via the Government’s View or share your driving licence information website. To be able to access their driving licence details online, you need to input:
- Their driving licence number
- Their National Insurance number
- Their post code.
This then takes them to another part of the website, where they can, if they wish, generate a unique access code that they can share with employers or daily rental companies to provide them access to their licence details.
Driving licence information via the ‘Driving Record Share’ facility can only be made available with the consent of the driving licence holder.
The employer, or rental company, can use the driver-generated access code to check relevant licence details such as penalties or endorsements directly from the driver’s information held within the DVLA’s own driver database.
Traditionally, the driver licence counterpart carried details of any driving offences and endorsements that drivers might have received. But its abolition means there will no longer be any manual means of checking drivers’ licences, entitlements and endorsements.
What can Fleet Alliance offer?
Fleet Alliance already offers on online service, Licence Check, which reduces risk by electronically checking drivers’ licences against DVLA licence data.
Licence Check helps comply with the Health and Safety guidelines regarding driver licence checking. Once drivers are set up, the process is automatic. This not only reduces the risks to the business but also reduces the administrative burden of checking licences.
Licence Check provides comprehensive and up to date data on your drivers, directly from DVLA data which also protects the company against fraud. Users can also choose the frequency of the checks and carry these out more often for drivers with driving convictions or a poor accident record.
At the same time, Fleet Alliance can provide help and advice in setting up your drivers for automated and secure driver licence checking.
Tips for fleets and drivers:
- Digitalise your driving licence records as soon as possible
- Ensure your chosen provider is giving the range of services you require
- Consent can be easily obtained from employees before transferring licence checking online
- Drivers need to understand that the counterpart can now be discarded as it is no longer valid
- Drivers who only possess paper licences won’t be affected until they come to renew their licence