This week marks one year since the paper driving licence counterpart was abolished in the UK by the DVLA. The paper counterpart recorded all endorsements, penalty points and entitlements and was used as a legal document alongside the photocard licence.
Drivers were advised to destroy the paper part of their licence once the changes came into effect on 8 June 2015.
But there was one important exception — if the driver only holds an ‘old-style’ paper-only driving licence, issued before 1998. These paper-only licences are still valid and must not be destroyed.
Holders of paper-only licences can keep using their licence until any change of name or address, or if they receive any driving convictions. In these cases DVLA will then issue a photocard licence.
Hire car confusion
There was widespread confusion last year when the changes first came into place, as many drivers found when trying to hire a car. The paper driving licence counterpart had previously been required by car hire companies as a way to check if the driver had any driving offences recorded on their licence.
The DVLA rolled out a new online service to allow drivers to view and share any information that would previously be held on the paper counterpart. Drivers are able to generate a code on the site to enable hire companies to view relevant information about their licence, including penalty points and restrictions.
However when the system went live last year, the code was initially valid for just 72 hours. This created difficulties for drivers planning to hire a car abroad as many preferred to generate the code in the UK before they travelled. The window was subsequently extended so drivers could generate a code that would be valid for 21 days.
Among this confusion, it’s no surprise that some drivers were hesitant to destroy their paper driving licence counterpart. Have you destroyed yours or kept hold of it? Let us know in our poll below: