Saturday, April 25, 2015

Driving Licence Changes to be Noted by Road Haulage Operators

Paper Counterparts to be Made Redundant
Shipping News Feature

UK – As the country approaches a General Election there has been one policy of the current government which has stayed fairly low profile, but which has had effects in many areas, one of which makes a small difference to those engaged in the road haulage industry.

The policy itself was managed by the Cabinet Office and called ‘The Red Tape Challenge’ its purpose being to cut some of the red tape which seems to grow exponentially year on year, particularly in the area of Health and Safety policy. As from June 8 there will be no paper counterparts issued together with the photocard driving licence.

Detractors will say that the photocard system has effectively meant that the failed policy of identity cards, so maligned by voters, has effectively been introduced by stealth but in fact the change has been strongly lobbied for by associations such as the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Originally paper licences were in place to show information for which there was no room on the photocard, such information is now stored electronically.

If you hold a two part licence (paper/photocard) the DVLA instructions are to destroy the paper counterpart after June 8. If however your licence was issued prior to 1998 and is in paper form only this should not be destroyed.

Henceforth penalty points will only be stored electronically and not be shown on the licence itself, if you commit an offence and have to submit your licence to the Court, those with two part licences will not have the paper counterpart returned to them. Full details of the changes can be found on the DVLA website and there is a video explaining the changes here. Photocard licences have to be renewed every 10 years, currently at a cost of £14 online (£17 by post) but free for those over 70.

Road haulage operators should of course make regular checks to ensure the legality of their drivers to comply with the conditions of an operator’s licence (and also their CPC status). This can be done via the DVLA website link but only with the holder’s permission.