UK – Novadata, the tachograph supply specialist, tells us that the DVLA are aware of problems on some Digital Tachograph Driver Cards which result in error codes being displayed on the tachograph vehicle unit, obviously a serious situation for any freight truck or other road haulage driver. Novadata says drivers are advised to check the card in another vehicle unit or a download device to verify whether there is a fault with the card. Once you have established that your card is faulty you are advised to contact the DVLA within 7 days.
The codes displayed will likely be one of four i.e: "ERROR CODE 48”; "CARD ERROR”; "CARD NOT VALID” - When it is, or "CARD EXPIRED” - When the card has not expired. In order to replace the faulty card it is necessary to fill in the correct D778B application form for a new card and return it with the faulty card to VOSA. You can download the correct form HERE or to order an application form call the VOSA Helpline on Tel 0300 123 9000. Further information can be seen HERE.
When returning the card in order to receive a free replacement The DVLA typically issues a reference which you are advised to have to hand in the event you are stopped by an enforcement officer. According to the DVLA if you mark on the envelope "code 48” you will receive priority and your replacement card should arrive within 5-7 days. Under these circumstances you can legally drive without a card but you must produce two 24 hour daily print outs from the vehicle unit one at the start of your duty and the other at the end of your duty thus evidencing the work periods undertaken.
On the back of these print outs you need to record your Name, Driving licence number before signing them. This is a legal requirement and drivers must keep the printouts with them for 28 days and return them to the operator within 42 days who in turn must keep them for 1 year or 2 years plus the reference period if using the information for the Working Time Directive.
You can drive using printouts for up to 15 days, or longer if away from base but Novadata emphasise it is important that sufficient supplies of print rolls are issued to drivers with one roll typically producing approximately 28 x 24 hour daily printouts.