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From 8 June 2015, the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence will not be valid and will no longer be issued by DVLA. The counterpart was introduced to display driving licence details that could not be included on the photocard. These details include some vehicle categories you are entitled to drive and any endorsement/penalty points.
Please note, this does not affect photocard licences issued by DVA in Northern Ireland.
Customers with existing paper counterparts
If you already hold a paper counterpart, after 8 June 2015 it will no longer have any legal status. You should destroy your paper counterpart after this date but you still need to keep your current photocard driving licence.
Customers with paper driving licences
Paper driving licences issued before the photocard was introduced in 1998 will remain valid and should not be destroyed.
Penalty points (endorsements)
From 8 June 2015 new penalty points (endorsements) will only be recorded electronically, and will not be printed or written on either photocard licences or paper driving licences. 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.
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.
This means that from 8 June 2015 neither the photocard driving licence nor the paper licence will provide an accurate account of any driving endorsements you may have. Instead, this information will be held on DVLA’s driver record, and can be checked online, by phone or post.
How to check your driving licence details
Our free https://www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence lets you see what details are on your licence, including what vehicles you can drive and any penalty points you may have but you will need your driving licence number and national insurance number available.
Confirming your driving record to an employer or when hiring a vehicle
After 8 June 2015 if you are hiring or test driving a vehicle or you drive for a living and you are asked to provide evidence of your driving record (entitlements and/or penalty points), you will be able to do this online for free by accessing our Share Driving Licence service. This service is currently in development but will be available before the counterpart is abolished. The service should be used by both paper and photocard driving licence holders and will also allow you to download a summary of your licence record which can be printed or shared.
Alternatively you can call DVLA and give permission for your driving record to be checked verbally by a nominated person/organisation.
Hiring or loaning a vehicle: how to prove your driving record after 8 June 2015
From 8 June 2015, you may wish to check with the dealer or hire company what they need to see when you hire a vehicle. 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 dealer or 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.
Not all dealers and vehicle hire companies will ask for this information and we advise that you check with your hire company.
Why is the counterpart being abolished?
The decision to abolish the counterpart was as a result of the government’s Red Tape Challenge consultation on road transportation. It also aligns to DVLA’s Strategic Plan which includes commitment to simplifying our services.