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Driving licence changes – your questions answered
Obsolete from 01/01/15
Here’s our at-a-glance guide to all you need know about driving licence-related changes, fines and other pitfalls that are just waiting to spoil your day.
So what’s the big change?
Unlike the tax disc, your driving licence isn’t being abolished entirely – just the paper counterpart that goes with your photocard.
When is this happening?
The changes take effect from January 1, 2015…
What else do I have to do?
Nothing. Providing your details are correct and up to date, your photocard is all you’ll need.
I don’t have a photocard – just an old paper licence. Do I destroy it?
No! If you have an old-style paper licence issued before the photocard was introduced in 1998, you should not destroy it. Furthermore, the green paper licence remains legal and – providing the details are correct – you’re under no obligation to change it to a photo-based version. If you do want to upgrade, though, this can be done for free if you are changing your address, name or adding a driving entitlement . Otherwise, with no change of details, it’ll cost you £20.00.
How can I see information about my licence now?
The paper counterpart of your driving licence can be used to tell you how many penalty points you have, when they expire, what classes of vehicles you can drive and when the document itself will expire. So, how will you be able view this vital information once the paper part of your licence disappears? Most of this information is available on the back of the photocard, but is not that clear and easy to read. To help address this, the DVLA has launched its online ‘View Driving Record’ service, which lets you see the data you need by entering your driving licence number, national insurance number and postcode.
Hold on – employers or car hire firms need to see this information, too?
Very true. Many interested parties – such as employers and holiday hire car firms – will want to see the paper counterpart to prove you haven’t got a record for instantly becoming a homicidal psychopath once behind the wheel. Obviously, this won’t be possible with the abolition of the paper counterpart, so the DVLA is developing a new online service to provide your real-time driving data to those who have a genuine reason to request it. The information will only be provided with the knowledge of the licence holder.
I’ve moved and need to change my address… how can I?
The paper counterpart allows you to change your address, so abolishing it could cause confusion for motorists who’ve just moved home and find the additional cost of a £1000 fine somewhat distressing. Not a problem, simply use the DVLA’s online service to change your address.
Change your address: UPdate your driving licence here
Is that it, then?
Yep! It’s not a huge change, but keeping abreast of such changes will ensure you avoid any problems when hiring a car or checking your validity to drive other types of vehicles. This in turn could save you large amounts of cash in fines.
In fact, many motorists will find the changes helpful by cutting the amount of documents they need to carry while travelling both in the UK and abroad.
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