DVLA to rake in millions through premium rate phone line following licence changes

The DVLA could make millions through its premium rate phone line from companies calling to check driving licences, following the scrapping of paper counterparts from next month.

Instead of the paper counterpart licence, drivers will be able to share their record through a complicated online code system that requires the driver to know their national insurance number, postcode and driving licence number.

But car dealers, garages, hire car companies and businesses that need to check driving licences will have to call a premium phone number set up by the DVLA if the customer hasn’t already shared their details online.

This phone number costs 51p per minute, and calls are expected to rise to an estimated 10 million annual calls, compared to the 2.5 million it currently receives.

With 10,000 people borrowing courtesy cars or taking test drives every day in the UK, it could make for an ‘administrative nightmare’ according to dealer solutions provider, Cooper Solutions.

Director Dean Pipitone said: “The DVLA has developed a secure online checking option for the motor industry (ADD). However, this has significant set-up costs, subsequent annual charges and substantial look-up fees.

“While getting rid of the paper part of the licence is a sensible move in theory, in practice its abolition could cause frustration for drivers and motor dealers who have not considered this issue prior to June 8th.”

The paper driving licence will be axed from June 8 2015. It follows the scrapping of the tax disc as the DVLA streamlines its services.