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Legislation Update

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How changes in the driving licence will affect your business

The driving licence counterpart was introduced in 1998 to display information that could not fit on the photocard driving licence. It includes penalty point information and provisional vehicle entitlements. After 17 years of dutifully doing its job the counterpart will be abolished on 8 June 2015.

This means that from the 8 June 2015, DVLA will stop issuing the paper counterpart and those currently in circulation will no longer have any legal status and should be destroyed.

The reason for abolishing the counterpart is to reduce the burden on motorists. For most drivers there simply isn’t a need to have this information on a piece of paper when it is now freely and easily available online. It also saves drivers from paying £20 to replace a lost or damaged counterpart.

There are of course a vast number of businesses and organisations that currently check the counterpart to ensure their employees are legal to drive and meet their insurance requirements.

Before the counterpart goes DVLA will provide new online driving licence enquiry services in addition to those currently available by phone, post and intermediary. This range of old and new services will allow for driving licence checks to continue after the 8 June.
The first new online service is called ‘Share Driving Licence’. This allows a driver to go online and generate a unique, one-time ‘check code’ that they then share with their employer.

The employer may then use the ‘check code’ with the last 8 digits of the driving licence number to view the driver’s entitlements and penalty points. This free, 24/7 service will be available this spring via GOV.UK

For those who would prefer driver data to be displayed or interpreted directly using their own software, DVLA is developing its Access to Driver Data’ service. The service acts as a business to business interface (API) to provide the latest relevant driving licence information with the consent of the driver.

You can keep up to date with progress of the abolition of the counterpart on DVLA’s GOV.UK campaign page at www.gov.uk/dvla/nomorecounterpart

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Please be aware that there is an increase to the national Minimum way as of 1st October 2014. The National Minimum Wage rate per hour depends on your age and whether you’re an apprentice – you must be at least school leaving age to get it.

Year 21 and over 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice*
2014 (from 1 October) £6.50 £5.13 £3.79 £2.73
2013 (current rate) £6.31 £5.03 £3.72 £2.68
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Under a new European Union Directive, professional bus, coach and lorry drivers need to hold a Driver CPC in addition to a vocational driving licence. Any drivers of lorries over 3.5 tonnes and minibuses with 9 seats or more must usually obtain a Driver CPC. See exceptions below.

New drivers obtain their Driver CPC by passing a series of initial qualification tests – theory and practical. This must then be followed by 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years if they want to keep their Driver CPC after that period.

Bus and coach (PCV) drivers who hold a relevant vocational licence (D, D1, D+E and D1+E) gained before 10 September 2008, (including restricted vocational licence D(101) issued after 1991 and D1(101) issued before 1997) and lorry (LGV) drivers who obtained their licence (C, C1, C+E and C1+E) before 10 September 2009, do not need to take the initial qualification. This is because they are deemed to hold ‘acquired rights‘. However, they will still have to complete periodic training to keep their Driver CPC.

New drivers who have qualified via the initial qualification route will receive a Driver Qualification Card (DQC), which they can show as proof that they hold Driver CPC.

Existing drivers with acquired rights will receive their DQC when they have completed their first 35 hours of periodic training; their DQC will be valid until 9 September 2018 for PCV drivers and until 9 September 2019 for LGV drivers. Drivers with licences for both PCV and LGV will be covered by one DQC which will be valid until 9 September 2019.

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