Guidance

Abolition of the Paper Counterpart of the Driver Licence

The paper counterpart of the driver licence was abolished on 8 June 2015 as part of the Government's Red Tape Challenge initiative to remove unnecessary administrative burdens on drivers.  The DVLA no longer issues the paper counterpart and as from 8 June, all existing paper counterparts no longer have any legal status. There is no change to the photocard part of the driving licence and vehicle rental companies still need to check that document. 

Consumer advice

Vehicle rental companies have introduced a range of simple procedures to help customers in the UK and abroad deal with the abolition of the driving licence paper counterpart on 8 June. 

Operators are taking a range of different approaches to the scheme, which include:

  • Asking customers to provide a print out of their licence information, available via the DVLA’s View Driving Licence service
  • Asking customers to provide a code allowing the rental company to view their licence information via the DVLA’s Share Driving Licence service (code only usable if obtained less than 21 days prior to the rental pick up time)
  • Asking customers to present their photo-card driving licence or the ‘old-style’ paper driving licence (issued up to 1998)
  • Asking customers to present their photo-card driving licence or ‘old-style’ paper driving licence together with a second form of ID, such as a passport
  • Asking customers to present their photo-card driving licence or the ‘old-style’ paper driving licence and sign a self-declaration confirming any endorsements

If you have any questions about the abolition of the counterpart or how it will affect your car rental, there are some useful weblinks and contact numbers below.

  1. The Government has set up its own Driving Licence Counterpart abolition advice website.
  2. You can view your driving licence online.
  3. If you have any problems generating a Share Driving Licence code online, call the DVLA on 0300 083 0013 to be given a code over the phone. This phone number is available Monday to Friday from 8am to 7pm and on Saturday from 8am to 2pm. Calls to this number cost no more than a national rate call to an 01 or 02 number.
  4. If you have any questions around the abolition of the counterpart, you can call the DVLA's free Drivers' Enquiry Line on 0300 790 6801. Again, this number is available Monday to Friday from 8am to 7pm and on Saturday from 8am to 2pm. You can also use this service to give your rental company permission to check your driving licence, though you will need to inform your rental company that you have done this.

Additional advice

A number of the BVRLA's rental members have set up their own advice webpages and helplines to help consumers:
 
Arnold Clark
Helpline: 0141 237 4374
 
Europcar
Helpline: 0116 217 3541 (24hr)
 
Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Helpline: 0800 111 4312 (Monday - Friday 07:00 - 00:00, Saturday & Sunday 08:00 - 00:00) 
 
Thrifty
Helpline: 01494 751615 (Mon - Fri 08:30 – 17:30)
 
Hertz
Helpline: 020 7365 3369
 
Sixt
Helpline: 0844 499 3399 (Mon-Fri 08:00 - 20:00)

Advice for rental companies

The BVRLA's fact sheet on driver licence checking is available here and a fact sheet on driver licence entitlement is available here.

The DVLA has given BVRLA members a choice of strategies for dealing with the abolition of the paper counterpart. 

  1. To check a customer's passcode, visit the DVLA's Check Driving Licence webpage.  
  2. If a customer does not have a passcode, or cannot generate a code for a particular reason, call the DVLA's premium line telephone service: 09061 393837. This helpline is available Monday - Friday 0800 - 1900 and Saturday 0800 - 1400, with calls charged at 51p per minute.

The DVLA has also created a webpage for rental and leasing companies, which provides a comprehensive range of publicity and communications materials such as web banners, videos, editorials and images. You can keep up with further changes by following the Inside DVLA blog. For more information on the abolition of the counterpart, contact Nora Leggett at the BVRLA.

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