Updated: Saturday, 25th January 2020 @ 8:25am

Legal Eagle: Government axe paper driving licence

Legal Eagle: Government axe paper driving licence

Drivers across Manchester and the rest of the UK will no longer have to carry their paper driving licence when they go behind the wheel under new changes being brought in later this year.

As of the June 8 2015 the DVLA will no longer issue the paper D740 counterpart to the photocard driving licence.  Furthermore from the June 8, existing counterparts will no longer be valid.

The decision to abolish the counterpart was as a result of the government’s Red Tape Challenge consultation on road transportation and is estimated to be saving £8million.

Drivers will now be able to check their details online using the DVLA’s “View Driving Licence Service” which was launched last year. For those who are unable to access the internet, it will still be possible to check their records over the telephone or by making a postal enquiry.

Whilst holders of photocard licences can destroy their paper counterparts on June 8 2015, holders of the old style paper driving licence (issued before the photo card was introduced in 1998) should retain them as they will remain their valid licence.

However their paper licence will no longer be used as an up to date record of their endorsements.  When holders of paper only style licences come to update their  details or renew their driving licence they will be issued with a photocard only licence.

DVLA is also developing a new digital enquiry services for launch later this year that will allow organisations and businesses for example employers and car hire companies) to view information they can currently see on the driving licence counterpart.

A DVLA spokesman said: Once the paper counterpart has been abolished, the electronic record held by DVLA will be the official record.

"Drivers will continue to be able to check their licence details online, and will also have the ability generate a one-time use code to allow a third party, with the drivers consent, to access this same information online.

"The service will also the driver to download and print a PDF copy of the information available on screen.

“DVLA is also developing a new service that will allow ‘trusted partner’ third parties to check driving licence information, providing they have the permission of the driver to do so.

"DVLA is working with representatives of the car hire industry, employers, fleet operators and companies offering licence checking services on behalf of large employers to develop this service.”

Image courtesy of Paul Townsend, with thanks.