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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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