Driving Licences go paperless from next week- how do you hire a car now?
Ideas of paperless driving licences have been floating around for some time, with the days of the paper counterpart being numbered. From next Monday, the counterpart will disappear completely and has been replaced by the DVLAs new View your Licence service. This online log-in based system allows you to view your driving record, eg vehicles you can drive, penalty points and disqualifications, but perhaps more usefully, allows you to create a ‘licence check code’ to share your driving record with someone else, such as your employer or a car hire company.
In order to log in via the DVLA's site and request a check code you need three pieces of information: your full licence number (which usually begins with all or part of your name, as shown in the picture at point 5) which is found on your photocard licence, your National Insurance number and your postcode.
So, if you are thinking of hiring a car, they should no longer ask you for your counterpart, but some commentators are recommending you take the old one with you (if you have it) in case they aren’t up to speed with the changes. You should also log in to the DVLA View your Licence site before you travel and print off an updated PDF version of your licence, including penalty details.
Finally, before you go, but within 72 hours of the time you want to hire the car, if possible, log in to the DVLA website and obtain a "check code" by clicking on the relevant 'share your licence information' tab on the far right. The car hire firm can then use this code to view your licence online.
Of course this all sounds pretty nifty, and in theory should all work smoothly and remove the chances of losing important bits of paper. However, we are looking forward to hearing all the tales of how it’s all gone horribly wrong in practice…