New driving licence rule to affect holidaymakers

Driving on beach

With the paper part of driving licences becoming invalid on 8 June 2015, consumer groups are warning that holidaymakers hiring cars may not be fully prepared.

The DVLA has now stopped issuing paper licences, meaning that if you need to update your name, address or renew your existing licence, you will be issued with a new photocard only - the paper counterpart will be retained.

However, the move means that all details of penalty points or convictions are now stored online only. In order to give car hire firms access to view this information, people must go to a government website and produce a temporary code.

The code lasts for up to 72 hours, can be used only once and will allow the hire companies to make any necessary checks. But this has led to fears that many holidaymakers may have to find internet access or risk being turned away by a car hire company.

Those potentially affected include people travelling abroad but who aren't collecting their hire vehicle as soon as they arrive.

Rushed project

Gerry Keaney, the chief executive of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), told the BBC: "The project's being rushed through. It's not brilliant."

The move is part of the government's aim to cut down on the amount of red tape. The purpose of the counterpart up until now has been to include licence details that couldn't be included on the photocard - such as penalty points or the types of vehicles your are allowed to drive.

Paper driving licences that were issued before the photocard was launched in 1998 will remain valid.

The free-to-use View Driving Licence service ( will let you see what details are held about you. Those hiring a vehicle in the UK or overseas will be able to provide evidence of their driving record at the website.

You will need to enter your driver number, National Insurance number and the postcode shown on your current driving licence.

Alternatively, you can also request a code by calling 0300 083 0013. This also applies if you have a paper licence that was issued before 1998.


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