Wednesday, June 03, 2015

DVLA screw it up

Trust the DVLA to cause chaos just as the holiday season starts.

They decided to abolish the paper counterpart of the UK driving licence and instead keep the record of endorsements and offences centrally on their database. Those who still have the paper counterpart are advised to destroy it.

NOTE: Those who still drive with a paper licence should not destroy that and yes, in spite of what some newspapers tell you, those licences are still valid in the UK at least.

The problem is that some rental companies abroad ask drivers for the paper part of the licence before allowing them to drive a car away. Those who no longer have this information may be refused.

The workaround.

DVLA have come up with a workaround which involves the driver logging on to the DVLA website with their driver licence number and their National Insurance number. The system should then generate a code which the driver can give to the person at the rental desk. This will allow them access to the driving record and view the details that were previously on the paper part of the licence.

There is a snag though - the code is only valid for 72 hours. So, for those who are hiring a car later in their holiday, it won't work. They will have to find some means to log on to their account and generate a new code or hope that the rental company are willing to pay for a premium-rate call to DVLA and hang on until their call is answered.

Of course, many rental companies abroad will be unaware of the changes and may still try to insist on seeing the paper counterpart causing stress and anxiety for the hapless driver.

Why couldn't DVLA introduce this change in the quieter winter months so that it was up and running before the peak season?

1 comment:

Bill said...

An article on this topic that may be of interest to you, if you have not already seen it, as it perhaps places in context why this change is happening:

On a slightly different aspect of this change, an article from my own Spanish blog which gives practical information about what people need to do if they are renting a vehicle either in the UK or outside it, using a British driving licence: