What you need to know about hiring a car without a paper licence

The DVLA are set to scrap the use of the paper counterpart traditionally issued as standard with your driving licence. But what will this mean for drivers who hire cars and will the alternative system cause difficulties for drivers? We’ve answered a few questions surrounding the topic to help keep you up to date with the changes.

Can you hire a car without a paper licence?

The DVLA are providing a new 24/7, free service called Share Driving Licence. Share Driving Licence will enable drivers to show the details of their licence to car rental companies and employers. Though the system is still in development at present, the DVLA have confirmed it will be ready and active before 8th June 2015.

Here's what you need to do to hire a car without a paper licence.

  1. Set up View Driving Licence Service through GOV.UK - all you'll need is your driving licence number and your National Insurance number

  2. Click on ‘Share your licence ’.You will be given a code unique code which allows a third party temporary to access your driving history. Alternatively, you can download a summary document and send it to the car hire company

  3. Present the code to the car hire company and they will be able to check your history before you proceed to hire a car

Tips for hiring a car without a paper licence.

  1. Speak to your car hire company before you travel to check what they will require from you, it may be that you can send the document before you travel

  2. Check out the DVLA website before you go away to set up your individual ‘View Driving Licence’ service

  3. As always, make sure you have the appropriate car hire excess insurance, just in case

Why is a paper licence important?

A paper counterpart licence is a supporting document issued with a driving licence to record driving convictions and penalty points. It helps car hire companies to check if a licence is clean before they issue a car to a new customer. Similarly, companies who issue company cars to employees are likely to check a counterpart licence to ensure a new employee has an acceptable driving record.

When will the counterpart licence disappear?

As of the 8th June 2015 we will no longer need to carry or keep a paper licence. The initiative is being launched with the aim of simplifying the collection and logging of points and driving offences. Licences distributed after 8th June 2015 will be issued without the paper counterpart.

If your licence was issued before the photo licences were first introduced in 1998, you should still retain your paper counterpart. If you want to be absolutely sure you no longer need yours, check out the DVLA briefing pack which contains all of the information you will need about the changes.

What will the DVLA use instead?

Henceforth, counterpart licences will have no legal status and points that were once printed on the counterpart paper licence will now be stored by the DVLA on an online system. This allows for quick updates to a drivers status without having to resend documentation as evidence. You will be able to access your own record by visiting the GOV.UK website and navigating through their online system.