Paperless driving licences – a good reform or a headache for employers?

Thursday February 2, 2017

We’ve seen a lot about the unintended consequences of scrapping the paper section of the driving licence on our holiday plans. Less, though, has been reported on what these changes, enacted on the 8 June 2015, will mean for employers.

Employers will need to check job applicants’ and employees’ driving licences, if driving is a prerequisite for the job. The new system can check for:

  • Disqualification
  • Current endorsements
  • Validity of the licence
  • Certificate of Professional Competence held by the employee
  • Categories of vehicle that the employee is entitled to drive

So will these changes be a help or a hindrance to employers? Whilst it now might take more time, it will be more accurate and reduce risk to your business.  Relying on the counterpart meant relying on a potentially out of date piece of paper. Now completely accurate information is accessible direct from DVLA’s records, ensuring that your drivers are the qualified and safe ones that you require.

Employers can access this information in two ways:

1. Request information from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

Employers can contact the DVLA to check that an employee is entitled to drive. The employer can request a driver entitlement check by post, electronically or by phone. Information about how to contact DVLA for a driver entitlement check is available on the UK government website.

The employer must explain the reason for their request and the employee must give consent. There is a form for this which you can find here DVLA form D888/1.

2. Request that the employee share their online information directly

Employees can view and share their driving records by going to and searching for ‘view driving licence’: the information will be displayed electronically. The employee can generate a ‘check code’ (only valid for 72 hours) in order to share with employers who need to check the above details. A summary can also be saved and printed.

You may wish to change your contracts and driving policies to reflect these new changes. As ever The HR Dept can assist with this and in many other ways on your road to business success.

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