Abolition of the counterpart driving licence

Chris Hunt Cooke says "I do not know whether you have seen this news, about which there seems to have been little or no publicity, although it comes in from January 2015. The DVLA have been talking about this as a future ambition since Adam was a lad but now it seems it will be done it in a rush, like abolishing the paper tax disc. I hope though that they have had plenty of time to consider all the implications". He highlights full details are on the gov.uk website. More.

Chris thinks"it would be worthwhile hanging on to the old counterpart form just in case the DVLA lose a record of some driving entitlements you have, as they have been known to do so in the past".

Posted: 141118

From January 2015 DVLA will no longer issue the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence - you can see both alongside. Details of the motor vehicle groups you are licensed to drive are recorded there together with any endorsements you may have picked up. For older members, the validity of the licence is shown - for example the date coinciding with the last day of your 69th year as you turn 70.

DVLA say "you do not need to take any action, just keep your current photocard driving licence.
If you have an old style paper driving licence issued before the photocard was introduced in 1998, this change won’t affect you, and you should keep your licence". DVLA then remind you that "the
next time you need to update your name, address or renew your licence, you will be issued with a only photocard - no counterpart and no old style driving licence. Entitlements, penalty points and the status of your driving licence won’t change".

What to do with your paper counterpart from January 2015
DVLA provide their advice - "i
f you don’t think you’ll need it, then you may destroy it. You should not destroy the counterpart before 1st January 2015. You’ll still be able to use the counterpart driving licence to change your address with DVLA. You can also change your address online". Fellow V8 member Chris Hunt Cooke thinks "it would be worthwhile hanging on to the old counterpart form just in case the DVLA lose a record of some driving entitlements you have, as they have been known to do so in the past".

Organisations and businesses that check the driving licence counterpart
DVLA then says it "is developing a new digital enquiry service for launch later this year that will allow organisations and businesses (such as employers and car hire companies) to view information they can currently see on the driving licence counterpart. This new service will be offered in addition to the existing services, but is designed for those who have a business need for real-time access to the information and may not wish to call DVLA or be in a position to use an intermediary. Driving licence information via this service will only be made available to those who have a right to see it, and with the knowledge of the driving licence holder. Stakeholders and commercial customers can find further information about the abolition of the counterpart in our newsletters" for DVLA's stakeholders and commercial customers".
If you follow their newsletters link you find they (Issue 1 and Issue 2) were issued back in July 2014. You can see those newsletters by following the links - Newsletter Issue 1 and Newsletter Issue 2.

What's behind these changes?
The driver behind these changes is DVLA's involvement in the Government's Red Tape Challenge consultation on road transportation but an electronic driving licence enquiry service is being developed. Sir Humphrey sets is out "some users, with consent from the record holder, also utilise the services of driving licence checking intermediaries such as the Electronic Driver Entitlement Checking Service (EDECS). We expect that in the absence of a counterpart, use of
intermediaries will grow. We appreciate that some users have a genuine business need for real-time access to
the information currently available on the counterpart, and may not wish to call DVLA or be in a position to use an intermediary. Therefore we are developing new digital services to meet this need on a new Integrated Enquiry Platform (IEP). We are working together with third party users (such as employers and hire car companies) to consider a number of options. One of the options is to provide a service that will allow licence holders to share their record with those who have a right to view it".

Consent from the licence holder to access their data
In the DVLA Issue 2 Newsletter it seems two services are being developed: View Driving Record (VDR) and Share My Driving Record (SMDR) and members might wonder how the data release will be handled within the provisions and requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) in the UK. Well on this sensitive issue DVLA says "Currently to meet the requirements of the (DPA) 1998, driver data can only be disclosed for driver entitlement checking purposes with the explicit consent of the data subject (that is the driver holding a licence). Consent is valid for up to 3 years and, in most cases, is recorded on a paper mandate for audit purposes. Once the paper counterpart has been abolished the DVLA may no longer need to
rely on the driver’s explicit consent to legitimately process their sensitive personal data for driver entitlement checking purposes. If the DVLA relies on an alternative schedule condition within the DPA, recipients of the data may still need to be able to demonstrate that the data was accessed for a legitimate purpose, and will still need to inform drivers that they intend to request their personal data from the DVLA. Detailed audit requirements will depend on the technical solution adopted. We expect to be in a position to confirm what abolition of the counterpart means to obtaining consent from the data subject in the next update".

Very little publicity for the motoring public
There has been very little publicity of this change but for the ordinary motorist ("personal users" in DVLA speak) DVLA has developed a new View Driving Record service which is currently in public beta before a formal launch later this year - meaning in the next 6 weeks. I tried using this service using my Driver Number (from my driving licence), National Insurance Number and the Postcode on your driving licence and the system reported it was not able to provide the check as the system was down. View Driving Record service
V8 Register - MG Car Club - the leading group for MG V8 enthusiasts at www.v8register.net