DVLAThe DVLA has extended the validity of its Share Driving Licence code service from 72 hours to 21 days after motorists complained the time wasn’t long enough.

This will make hiring a car when on holiday much easier as the code, accessed via the ‘View Driving Licence’ website, should remain valid while people are away.

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The RAC is calling it ‘a victory for common sense’.

“This is a dramatic U-turn from the DVLA,” said head of external public affairs Pete Williams.

“Presumably they were inundated with complaints from private motorists and businesses alike about three days being far too short a period to share your licence with a hire car company or an employer.”

Holidaymakers and business travellers alike will benefit from the extension as it provides much more flexibility when in the second or third week of a trip.

The RAC does, however, want answers.

“The big question is why was the validity of the ‘share your licence’ code fixed at three days in the first place, particularly as the system was brought in on the back of the abolition of the paper counterpart which took the DVLA typically far longer to update with new endorsements.”

Car rental industry welcomes the change

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association says the change will make it much easier for customers to arrive prepared for their car rental pick-up.

Gerry Keaney, chief executive of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association said: “This common sense approach will reduce queues at rental desks and give millions of renters more time to plan and arrive prepared ahead of their journey.”

The View Driving Licence replaced the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence on 8 June 2015. Instead of showing ‘the paper bit’ to those who need up-to-date information about a drivers’ endorsements, motorists generate a ‘Share My Licence’ code.

It’s this that’s now valid for three weeks instead of three days.

The BVRLA still thinks there’s some work that could be done though.

“We think that the DVLA should extend the opening hours of its call centre, because not all renters have access to the internet,” said Keaney.

“The agency should also waive the cost of the premium line telephone service that is used to check endorsements when motorists turn up without a code.”

The DVLA should also be more flexible on the ID required to view driving licence information online. “Most travellers would find it easier to provide a passport number than a National Insurance number.”