driving license changes

Driving Licence changes

Get up to date on the latest changes to the rules and regulations for driving licence documentation

No more paper counterpart

Since 8 June 2015, the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence is not valid and will no longer be issued. Existing counterparts should be destroyed.

  • The paper counterpart to your photocard licence is no longer valid – the best thing to do is to get rid of it
  • Renew your photocard licence with our photocard renewal service
  • You still need to keep your plastic photocard driving licence
  • If you have a paper licence (issued before 1998), you need to keep it

What’s the paper counterpart?

It’s the document that came with your photocard driving licence – if you received your licence after 1998, you’ll have one. 

It’ll have the code D740 in the top right hand corner and say ‘Counterpart driving licence’ at the top, along with your name and address.

It’s different from an older-style paper driving licence, so make sure you don’t confuse the two.

I have an old-style paper licence. What should I do?

The old style paper licences issued before 1998 are still valid, so hold onto yours.

However, if your details have changed or you need to renew your licence, you’ll need to let DVLA know. The next time you apply for a new licence, you’ll receive a photocard instead.

You can renew your photocard licence at the Post Office.

How can I show someone else my driving record?

If you’re applying for a new job, hiring a car, or just need to show someone else your driving record, you’ll need to use DVLA’s Share Driving Licence service.

To do this, you’ll need your driving licence number, your National Insurance number, and your driving licence postcode.

  • Log on to DVLA’s View Driving Licence service on GOV.UK
  • Click ‘Share your licence information’, follow the instructions and make a note of your code
  • This code can only be used once – to share your driving record again or with someone else, you’ll need a new code
  • You can share this code with whoever needs to see your driving record – for example car hire companies or employers. You will also need to supply them with  the last 8 digits of your driving licence number
  • They can then look up your driving record on GOV.UK

Why are DVLA getting rid of the counterpart?

This is all to simplify DVLA’s services – which should mean fewer forms and documents to keep track of.

I’m hiring a vehicle on holiday – what should I do?

Since 8 June 2015, British holidaymakers may need to pack a special code from the DVLA to hire a vehicle.

This is because the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence – the bit that shows your  entitlements and any endorsements – is no longer valid and issued by DVLA.

Make sure you check with your hire company what documents they will want to see.

Holidaymakers who need to share their driving history should use DVLA’s Share Driving Licence service to generate a unique code to share their licence details with the hire company

Plan ahead

To get the code, you’ll need your driving licence number, the postcode as shown on your driving licence, and your National Insurance number – as well as internet access, so watch out for roaming charges. 

The code can only be used once and is valid for 21 days.  If the code expires prior to checks being made you’ll need to generate a new code. You can have up to 15 active check codes at any given time.

It’s best to know when you’re likely to visit the car hire firm well in advance, so you can get all your info together before you go abroad.

But remember – the paper counterpart is more or less unique to the UK, so many foreign firms may not expect to see it in the first place.

And don’t forget your International Driving Permit – you may need one to drive legally in your holiday destination.

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