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Saturday, 6 June 2015

Counterpart driving licence axed from Monday

UK driving licence replacement costs

The paper part of the UK driving licence is being scrapped next week, which will have several knock-on effects for motorists, particularly those looking to hire a car.

Newly qualified drivers will no longer receive the counterpart, and instead will simply be issued with a card licence.

This move comes as part of an effort by the DVLA to streamline its services. Where the counterpart licence previously held details of penalty points and driving restrictions imposed on the licence holder, this information will now be held online, with drivers able to print out details as required.

Administration of penalty points will change, with drivers required to surrender their photocard licence temporarily to have the endorsements added.

Hiring a car will also become slightly more complicated, as firms don't consider the photocard licence to be adequate proof of ID alone. Customers will now have to obtain a 'check code' from the DVLA website, within 72 hours of renting a car, which can be used by the hire firm to check details.

To obtain a check code, drivers will need their full driving licence number, national insurance number and their postcode. Each code can only be used once, and only five can be requested in a 72-hour period.

However, drivers are currently advised to carry their counterpart with them anyway when travelling abroad, in case the car-hire desk in question isn't aware of the changes.

Sarah Sillars, the Institute of Advanced Drivers' chief executive officer, said: "People are not aware of how many of the current procedures are changing. Similar to the abolition of the tax disc, they assume much of what has happened before will continue,"

"The onus is very much on the individual to obtain the information they need beforehand. So we very much hope people will not be caught unawares, especially if they don't want a nasty surprise when arriving to collect their car at the start of their holiday."

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