The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has announced it will abolish the paper driving licence counterpart on 8 June 2015 – despite previous plans to scrap it from 1 January.
This means that anyone with a paper driving licence as well as a photocard will be able to dispose of the former, as it will no longer be needed.
Those with just a paper driving licence (issued before 1998) will have them replaced by photocards next time they renew their licence or update their details. They shouldn’t destroy their paper licences just yet – although they will no longer be used for recording endorsements and penalty points.
The announcement has sparked claims that the DVLA was unprepared for the changes, which would require businesses to carry out digital licence checks.
The Freight Transport Association’s director of policy, Karen Dee, said: “We had voiced concerns that the new date would be rushed and would not allow any significant re-development of the systems that businesses were expected to use to carry out critical safety checks on their drivers.”
Under the new system, drivers will be able to access information about their licence (such as what they’re allowed to drive, and any endorsements they might have) online – as will anyone with a legitimate reason to see it, such as employers or car hire companies.
Dee added: “Today’s announcement demonstrates that ministers have listened to industry’s concerns, and we look forward to working with the DVLA to develop a system which is fit for purpose.”
The move follows the DVLA’s plan to streamline its service, and comes after paper tax discs were scrapped earlier this year.