- From 8 June 2015, paper driving licence will no longer exist
- Only photocard licences will be issued for renewals
- Those with only paper licences not obligated to renew
As of 8 June 2015, the driving licence paper counterpart will be phased out, as the DVLA continues in its effort to modernise its operations, digitise its records and cut down on unnecessary costs. It follows on the back of the paper tax disc being abolished.
What does this mean?
In short, it is business as usual. The DVLA will simply not be issuing the paper version when people either apply or reapply for their driver's licence.
If you have an old style paper licence – those that were issued before 1998, which is when the photo version was introduced – worry not, you are not affected.
Just keep hold of your licence and when it comes to renewals (change in address/name) all that will happen is that you will receive a photocard version.
It’s worth pointing out that paper licences don’t need to be renewed, unlike photocards, which have to be renewed every ten years. The cost of this is currently £20.
If you do want to change a paper only driving licence, you have the benefit of being able to do so with no cost, the government has confirmed.
What about car hire?
Presently, there are organisations, like car hire companies and some insurance providers, that still request key details that can only be found on the paper counterpart in order to hire a car or to get car insurance.
Appreciative of this, the DVLA is finalising the development of a new digital enquiry service that will allow businesses to instead view data online.
The government states: "Driving licence information via this service will only be made available to those who have a right to see it, and with the knowledge of the driving licence holder."
What do you think about it?
This change will be significant but the reality is that many people no longer have or use a paper counterpart.
Nevertheless, it marks the end of a long era of motoring history (they first appeared in 1903) and, as with the end of paper tax discs there is something bittersweet about this news.