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Paper cut advice for disabled drivers as DVLA ditches counterpart licence

Red tape cutting by the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency will mean disabled drivers will soon be binning their paper counterparts. The switch to a paperless system will see drivers’ records being exclusively recorded electronically. So what does it mean for you?

Abolition of the paper counterpart – NOT the old style paper licence – on June 8th is the latest salvo in the government’s war on bureaucracy, dubbed the Red Tape Challenge.  It mean that in future of you, or an interested party like a car hire firm, wants to check their records they’ll need log on to either a new, free online View Your Driving Licence or still-to-be-launched Share  Your Licence services.  For those that are unable to access the internet details will also available by post although this will attract a £5 charge.

The paper counterpart was initially introduced in 1998 as a companion to the plastic photocard which millions of us now carry. It was launched to log the details the plastic card couldn’t, such as endorsements and penalty points.

What do you need do?

  • If you have a photocard licence the government’s advice is you should destroy your paper counterpart on or after 8th June 2015.
  • If you have an old-style paper driving licence, keep it. These remain valid. You will be affected by this change only if you need change details of your name or address or need renew your licence. In these instances you will be issued with a phhotocard licence.

How can I check if my driving records are correct?

  • You will be able to access the details the DVLA hold through the View Your Driving Licence service. When logging onto this will need your licence number, National Insurance number and postcode to hand.
  • If you can’t or do not wish to access your details on line you can write to the DVLA to request them. To do this you will need include a £5 cheque payable to ‘DVLA Swansea’ together with your full name and address and driver licence number (or date of birth).These should be sent to:

Driver Licence Validation Service




SA99 1AJ

What if someone else needs check my driver record?

  • By the time the paperless scheme is launched so will the new Share Your Licence service. This will allow others such as vehicle hire firms (see below) to check a summary of your record – but only when you give your permission. You will also be able to download a summary of your record to print. All licence holders, whether paper or photocard, should use this service from 8th June onwards.
  • If you prefer you will alternatively be able to call the DVLA and give your permission for specific people or organisations to access a summary of your records.

What if I want to hire a vehicle?

Currently car hire and other vehicle rental firms require you to present your paper counterpart so they can check your licence for things like points and fines. From June 8th though all those details will be stored online and you will need request a code from either the DVLA website or by calling 0300 083 0013. You must then pass that code to the hirer who will use it to access your details via the Share A Licence service.

But beware: The code is valid for only 72 hours so if you are planning to hire a car whilst on holiday make sure you that you have details of, and access to the, DVLA site. It is unclear whether the telephone service will be available to UK licence holders when they are abroad as you cannot call an 0300 number from outside the UK and no alternative has as yet been offered by the DVLA.

Will this affect my insurance?

  • If you are a Fish disabled car insurance policyholder then, as before, you need only advise us of changes to your driver record such as any points, endorsements or changes to your personal details and circumstances. If you have any questions about what we need to know then please email or call customer services.

For official details of the new scheme, together with explanatory videos, click here.

For more information about disability vehicles and WAVs, why not visit our help and information page?

For help, speak
to one of our team
call 0333 331 3770

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