There is often some confusion around whether or not you need the paper counterpart of your driving licence, and what you need to do – if anything – if you lose your paper part.

The DVLA made a change to the legislation in 2015 that you need to know about, here’s what the most current rules and regulations are regarding the paper counterpart of your driving licence:

Do I Need the Paper Part of My Licence?

As of 8 June 2015, the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence is not valid and is no longer issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

Prior to this date, the paper counterpart was used to display information such as any penalty points the driver might have.

However, now all the driver details, including any points, are stored electronically.

This means that you no longer require the paper part, and the DVLA advised drivers to destroy the counterpart after the aforementioned date.

However, obviously, it’s essential to ensure you still hold onto the photocard part of your licence.

Do I Need a Paper Counterpart If I Get Penalty Points?

No, you don’t need a paper counterpart, even if you receive penalty points.

After the abolition of the paper counterpart in 2015, all penalty points are recorded electronically on your driving record.

If you receive penalty points, they will be digitally added to your record. If you wish to view this information, you can do so online, by phone, or by post through the DVLA’s services.

Employers or car hire companies that need to check your driving record can do so with your permission, using the DVLA’s Share Driving Licence service.

What If I Have Not Renewed My Licence Since June 2015?

If you have not renewed your licence since June 2015 when the counterpart was abolished, it makes no difference.

From the 8th June 2015, any new penalty points (endorsements) are recorded electronically and won’t appear on photocard driving licences or the paper licence.

If you still have your paper counterpart, it will no longer hold any legal status and you are able to destroy it.

Any existing penalty points or endorsements recorded on paper counterparts before 8th June 2015 are still valid until they reach their expiry date.

However, they have since been recorded online and can be viewed via the DVLA’s online services.

How Can I Find Out If A Driver Has Penalty Points on Their Licence?

If you’re in the UK and want to find out if you or one of your drivers has penalty points on their driving licence, you can check online through the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) or by using FleetCheck LicenceAssured.

If you want to use the DVLA’s View Driving Licence service you’ll need some information from the driver, then the driver will need to request a code to give you access.

This takes around 15 minutes on average. It’s time-consuming and becomes unmanageable if you have a large fleet.

The more efficient way to check if a driver is using our FleetCheck LicenceAssured service.

We have found that it takes a driver five minutes and an administrator one minute to set up an electronic mandate for three years.

Each check thereafter takes ZERO time for the driver and one minute for the administrator to view the licence check.

You can find out more about FleetCheck LicenceAssured and book a free demo by clicking here.

Why Was the Licence Counterpart Abolished?

The paper counterpart of the UK driving licence was abolished in 2015 as part of the UK government’s initiative to digitise driver records and reduce bureaucratic processes.

Here’s a deeper dive into the reasons behind its abolition:

Digital Transition

The move to abolish the paper counterpart was aligned with the broader trend towards digital governance and the UK government’s aim to modernise its services.

By digitising driving records, the DVLA aimed to offer a more streamlined and efficient service to drivers.

Reduced Administrative Burden

The paper counterpart was traditionally used to record details that didn’t fit on the photocard, such as penalty points and certain types of vehicle entitlements.

However, maintaining and updating these paper records was time-consuming and had the potential for errors or discrepancies.

Easy Access to Information

With the DVLA’s online services, individuals and companies can now access driving records more quickly and securely.

This eliminated the need for drivers to present the counterpart when hiring a vehicle, for instance.

Environmental Considerations

Reducing the production and distribution of paper counterparts has environmental benefits, decreasing the amount of paper used and the associated resources required for its production and disposal.

Reduced Risk of Fraud

Digital records reduce the chances of fraudulent counterparts or alterations to them, ensuring that the DVLA and any legitimate enquiring parties have access to accurate, unaltered driving histories.

Cost Efficiency

Over time, the digital system, by eliminating the need for paper production, distribution, and processing, has the potential to be more cost-effective for the DVLA and, by extension, for taxpayers.

The abolition of the paper counterpart in favour of digitised records has undoubtedly made the system more accessible and straightforward for most drivers, though there was an initial period of adjustment and learning for many.