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The government plan to phase out the paper counterpart of photo card driving licences as the Driver vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) continues to work towards completely paper-free motoring records.
So what will drivers have to do? According to the DVLA, most people will not need to do anything providing their current photo card licence is up to date. Drivers will simply keep hold of their existing photo card and destroy the counterpart.
For those people that still hold the older style paper driving licence, again next year’s changes will not affect them. Drivers simply need to hold on to their licence and next time they need to renew their name or address, they will be issued with a photo card only. It doesn’t cost anything to change details on a driving licence, so receiving the new photo card will not cost anything either.
However, to renew an existing driving licence photo card, motorists will have to pay £20 every ten years, whilst the paper licences do not need to be renewed.
The change comes following a Department for Transport review last October into how the DVLA could “deliver better services and save money for the taxpayer”.
A DVLA spokesman said: “Timescales for abolishing the driving licence paper counterpart are under discussion. Drivers can already check their licence details online for free via the View Driving Licence service.
“Once the paper counterpart has been abolished, the electronic record held by DVLA will be the official record.
“Drivers will continue to be able to check their licence details online, and will also have the ability generate a one-time use code to allow a third party, with the drivers consent, to access this same information online.
“The service will also allow the driver to download and print a PDF copy of the information available on screen.”
It is important to make sure that driving licence photo cards are kept up to date at all times as drivers who are caught with an invalid licence could face a £1,000 fine. You can find out when your photo card expires by checking the date provided on the front of it.