The paper part (headed Counterpart Driving Licence, D740) of your 2-part licence ceases to have any legal meaning on the 8th June 2015. The DVLA say you should destroy it. Everyone else (AA etc.) says keep it safe just in case. Instead of recording your permitted vehicle classes, endorsements and expiry date on paper, this is all on computer now. It’s been on computer for years, but the difference is that anyone who wants to check it (e.g. employers if you drive for work, car hire companies, anyone lending you a vehicle, such as a bike dealer giving you a test ride) uses a website to do so.
Who does it affect?
Holders of 2-part UK driving licences (England, Scotland, Wales but not Northern Ireland).
Anyone who still has a paper-only driving licence.
Note, this will only be the case if you’ve had it since 1998, and in that time never lost or damaged it, had it stolen, received endorsements, or changed your name, address or other details.
Do the IAM understand it?
No, judging by their press release that says, “This affects your endorsements/penalty points and the vehicle categories you are entitled to drive”.
No it doesn’t, it just affects the way you prove the above.
What could go wrong?
Well, some years ago DVLA had an IT glitch that they were unwilling to acknowledge. Many people sent their licence off for renewal, or endorsements or change of details, only to find that vehicle classes disappeared for no reason. The DVLA denied you ever passed your bike test in 1953 on a BSA Bantam, and asked you to produce the pass certificate! The result was lots of experienced bikers having to retake a test, or worse, give up in disgust.
What do I do?
First, make sure your licence is completely correct – name, address, postcode etc. If not, send it off for correction. When you move house, you have 6 weeks to tell the DVLA. Find your National Insurance Number (on your payslips, Tax demands etc). Then…
Save your Counterpart somewhere safe.
Go to the DVLA View Driving Record Website – you will need your Driving Licence Number, your National Insurance Number, and your Postcode.
Work through the screen, and when it tells you who you are and where you live, click on the tab ‘Share your licence Information’.
Choose ‘Create a code’.
When you get a code, click on ‘Print, View or Save your licence information’.
You can then view or print your endorsements, and the vehicle classes you’re able to drive, and until when.
Check this with the paper Counterpart that you haven’t destroyed.
If there’s anything wrong, get on to the DVLA ASAP to get it corrected!
You’ll need to do this just before you need it – the code only lasts 72 hours. It’s free, you can do it as many times as you like, and it might even come to seem like fun.
Why the change?
Lord only knows.
Slipstream Deputy Editor