The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has confirmed that the paper driving licence will be abolished on June 8, 2015.
Originally, the launch had been scheduled for January 2015, but there had been a delay and no new date had been confirmed as of December. However, June 8 is now the official date.
What is going to change?
The current British Driving Licence comes in two parts: a card and a paper licence. The paper licence must be kept by law and handed over to officials. Once the change comes into effect, the card will become the only part required by law. It has also been confirmed that drivers will also no longer have to keep their insurance documents with them: they’ll also no longer be required for tax disc renewal.
Once the law changes, the DVLA will store all the details for registered drivers in their main database, which can then be checked from any computer.
The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) had previously called for the date to be pushed back, noting that the six month delay would give the vehicle rental members breathing space in which to test and develop new processes for helping to verify customer driving licence details.
The BVRLA has also called for a real-time, online driver detailing checking service to be implemented in advance of the abolition date. The DLVA responded by promising ‘technical solutions that provide up-to-date, fit-for-purpose alternatives to the paper counterpart’.
What has the reaction been?
Gerry Keaney, chief executive of the BVRLA, said:
“We welcome this delay and are happy that the DVLA and the Department for Transport have listened to the needs of some of their biggest customers.
“The DVLA finally has a clear plan of action for developing its online alternative to the paper counterpart, and we look forward to working with them in delivering a robust, cost-effective solution for the vehicle rental sector.”
Karen Dee, director of policy for the Freight Transport Association, added:
“We had voiced concerns that the new date would be rushed and would not allow any significant re-development of the systems that businesses were expected to use to carry out critical safety checks on their drivers.
“FTA was given assurances by the DVLA that the removal would not happen until such a time that an alternative was in place that satisfied the requirements of FTA Business. The announcement of June 8, 2015 demonstrates that Ministers have listened to industry’s concerns, and we look forward to working with DVLA to develop a system which is fit for purpose."