Following the digitisation of vehicle excise duty, the DVLA’s next digital-age venture is to annul the paper counterpart driving licence in favour of the system being online. From 8 June 2015, the paper counterpart will not be valid and will no longer be issued by DVLA.
The good news is, for most people, this will not cause any problem or change for the most part. Penalty points will be recorded electronically and from this date, if you commit an offence you will still have to pay any applicable fine and submit your licence to the court, but the way the court deals with the paperwork will change. As the DVLA state;
For photocard licences, the court will retain the paper counterpart and only return the photocard to you.
For paper licences, the court will return it to you but they won’t have written or printed the offence details on it.
Official advice from the DVLA is to destroy the paper counterpart after the 8th June, although conflicting advice from the AA and RAC suggest differently. The counterpart document may not have any legal status in the UK but until the news trickles through, hire car companies may still ask to see it, particularly foreign ones. That said, the DVLA are working on a new online system which will be freely accessible. However, the question of when hiring a car abroad does make this difficult.
If you are asked for evidence of what vehicles you can drive or confirmation of any penalty points, you will be able to request a unique code from GOV.UK, which will allow you to share your driving licence details or you can download a summary of your driving licence record. The code will last for up to 72 hours and will allow the hire companies to make any necessary checks. 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.
“This service is currently in development but will be available before the counterpart is abolished.”