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What the scrapping of the driving licence paper counterpart means for you
Thursday 21st May 2015

As so many of you are drivers, you should read the below very carefully.

On 8th June 2015, the paper counterpart driving licence will be abolished. Whether you're hiring a car or need to show a clean licence for work, here's everything you need to know about the changes.

Find out what the DVLA's abolition of the paper counterpart to photocard driving licences means for you with a guide to the new changes.

From 8th June 2015, the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence will not be valid and will no longer be issued by DVLA.

The counterpart was introduced to display driving licence details that could not be included on the photocard.

These details include some vehicle categories you are entitled to drive and any endorsement/penalty points.

What this means for you 

Customers with existing paper counterparts and photocard driving licences

If you already hold a paper counterpart, after 8th June 2015, it will no longer have any legal status.

You should destroy your paper counterpart after this date but you still need to keep your current photocard driving licence.

Customers with only paper driving licences

Paper driving licences issued before the photocard was introduced in 1998 will remain valid and should not be destroyed.

If you need to update your name, address or renew your licence, you will be issued with a photocard only.

Penalty points (endorsements)

From 8th June 2015, new penalty points (also known as endorsements) will only be recorded electronically, and will not be printed or written on either photocard licences or paper driving licences.

From this date, if you commit an offence you will still have to pay any applicable fine and submit your licence to the court but the way the court deals with the paperwork will change.

For photocard licences, the court will return the photocard to you.

For paper licences, the court will return it to you but they won’t have written or printed the offence details on it.

This means that from 8th June 2015, neither the photocard driving licence nor the paper licence will provide an accurate account of any driving endorsements you may have.

Instead, this information will be held on DVLA's driver record, and can be checked online, by phone or by post.

How to check your driving licence details

The DVLA's
View Driving Licence service lets you see the details of your licence, including what vehicles you can drive and any penalty points you may have.

Taking your theory or driving test

From 8th June 2015, you won't need to take your paper counterpart with you when you go for your theory or driving test.

You must still take your photocard or your old style paper licence - your test will be cancelled and you’ll have to pay again if you don't.

Confirming your driving record to an employer or when hiring a vehicle

If you’re hiring a vehicle or you drive for a living and you’re asked to provide evidence of your driving record (entitlements and/or penalty points), you’ll be able to do this online for free by accessing the DVLA's
Share Driving Licence service.

The service should be used by both paper and photocard driving licence holders. You'll be able to generate a 'check code' to pass on to the person or organisation who needs to view your driving licence details.

Hiring a vehicle: how to prove your driving record after 8th June 2015

From 8th June 2015, you should ask the hire company in advance what they need to see when you hire a vehicle.

If you are asked for evidence of what vehicles you can drive or confirmation of any penalty points, you can request a unique code from GOV.UK which will allow you to share your driving licence details or you can download a summary of your driving licence record.

The code will last for up to 72 hours and will allow the hire companies to make any necessary checks.

You can also request a code by calling 0300 083 0013. This also applies if you have a paper licence that was issued before 1998.

Not all vehicle hire companies will ask for this information and we advise that you check with your hire company in advance.

Why is the counterpart being abolished?

The decision to abolish the counterpart was made as a result of the government’s Red Tape Challenge consultation on road transportation. It also aligns to
DVLA's Strategic Plan which includes a commitment to simplifying our services.

Information provided by the DVLA

Picture credits: DVLA

NOTE: This does not affect photocard licences issued by DVA in Northern Ireland.