DVLA Driving Licence Changes: are you prepared

Recently we bid farwell to the paper tax disc and for JCB Group's new buyers it's been a change that's been quickly accepted. But as of Monday 8th June 2015 your paper driving licence will suffer the same fate and will be banished to a bottom drawer somewhere. This shake up has the potential to impact your ability to hire or loan vehicles, such as courtesy cars or cars for test drives, so here's the low-down for everything you need to know.

So what do you need to know?

Like the tax disc, it's a change that should go reasonably unnoticed and is designed to to make things a little bit simpler. When you come to renew your licence you will no longer recieve a paper counterpart, just a photo card.

Why is it being banished?

The decision has been made as a result of the government's Red Tape Challenege consultation on road transportation. It's also part of a cost saving exercise by the government and is predicted to save an estimated cool £8 million.

How will it affect me?

You shouldn't really be affected unless you're caught speeding or given a motoring conviction. Any penalty points and convictions will no longer be recorded on your licence instead the information will be held on your digital DVLA record. You'll be able to check this online, by phoning them up, or by post.

Do I need to keep the paper part for anything?

If you only have the paper part of your licence, issued prior to 1998 this will remain valid so keep hold of it. If you have a photo card plus paper counterpart the latter becomes obsolete as of Monday 8th June, the DVLA recommend you destroy it, but here at the JCB Group, we'd advise you to keep hold of it , especially if you're thinking of hiring a car abroad.

What does this mean if I want to hire a car?

In the past, the paper counterpart was key for anyone intending to hire a car. It may seem like the abolishment of the paper licence could cause a huge problem with this, but the DVLA has developed a simple code system instead for drivers to use.

How do I get a Code?

You'll need to obtain a code from the DVLA website ahead of loaning or hiring a vehicle. This code can then be used by staff at dealerships like JCB Group or hire companies to access all the necessary details relating to your licence. However, each code is only valid for 72 hours, meaning that you will have to log on and get a new code if you do not use it for three days.

How will this affect me trying to take a test drive?

The subject of test drives has been hugely contested since these changes were first proposed, and we were among many who thought that the removal of the paper counterpart licence could make the process far more confusing than it has to be. But be assured, JCB Group has a host  of tools at our disposal and will help you in any way you can should you wish to loan or test drive one of our vehicles. So if you're still unsure, speak to one of our experts at our Volkswagen, VW Commercial Vehicles, Honda and SEAT dealerships across Kent and Sussex. In the meantime, the DVLA has produced the video below to help drivers ensure they are prepared for the changes.

Wanting to test drive a demonstrator, or loan a courtesy vehicle? Remember the law has changed! We now need to have:
• Your Driving Licence (photocard or paper counterpart if pre-1998)
• Your National Insurance number
• Your Postcode

In order to generate an online code to check restrictions & endorsements and verify your licence. Without this, you will not be able to drive with us. Any questions, please do not hesitate to ask a member of staff for help. We will be happy to help.