NO MORE COUNTERPART: What it Means for businesses

By Anita Jaynes on 21 July, 2015

If you have employees driving on company business, you must undertake regular driving licence checks.

Ensuring individuals are eligible to drive, and being able to demonstrate an accurate and up-to-date paper trail, is of fundamental importance to fulfilling your duty of care as an employer. Additionally, there is no cover under a motor insurance policy unless the driver holds a valid licence to drive. No licence = no insurance.

As of 8 June 2015, the paper counterpart to photocard driving licences was abolished and it is no longer possible for drivers to use it as evidence of their driving history or entitlement.

From this date onwards, endorsements will be recorded electronically and not printed on either photocard or paper licences. These documents will therefore not provide an up-to-date account of an individual’s eligibility to drive.

Businesses conducting licence checks now need to do so by phone, by post or online, the latter of which is currently free of charge. In addition to those of drivers of company-owned vehicles, employers must also check the licences of persons who drive their own vehicle on company business, as part of their “Grey Fleet” management.

For a business to check an individual’s driving licence, they must obtain authorisation from them. This is evidenced by way of a unique code that remains valid for 72 hours and may only be used once.

To obtain a code, the driver will need their licence number, NI number and home postcode, and should visit gov.uk/view-driving-licence. For drivers without access to the Internet, a code can also be obtained by calling 0300 083 0013.

The business should then visit gov.uk/check-driving-information, enter the last eight digits of the licence number and the case-sensitive code, and download the PDF summary. They should also take a copy of the licence itself.

The paper counterpart to photocard-style licences can be now be destroyed. However, paper driving licences (issued before 1998) remain valid and must not be destroyed. The new system is applicable to both types of licence.

Should you have any queries about licence checks, fleet risk management or commercial insurance, contact Emily at RMI Consulting on 01249 700667 or emily.alcorn@rmiconsulting.co.uk