01 Jun 2015

changes in driving license large

Guidance on recent DVLA driving licence changes

Undisclosed motoring convictions or penalty points are a common cause of motor claims being refused by motor insurers for “non-disclosure of material facts”. For this reason and in the interests of good risk management we always recommend that fleet and motor trade policyholders carry out regular licence checks of all drivers and disclose any motoring convictions to insurers. Licence checking also ensures that the drivers have the appropriate licence for different vehicle categories.

Up until this week, the checking of licences could be carried out by requesting the paper counterpart from the driver. However from Monday 8th June 2015 the paper counterpart will cease to be a legal document.

Paper licences issued before the photo card licence was introduced in 1998 will remain valid unless the licence holder has changed name or address but the DVLA will no longer print the offence details on these licences.

Instead, licence information is now accessible on the DVLA website (via the link below) where licence holders can view their own licence information and can download a licence summary. To do this they need to enter their driving licence number, National Insurance number and home post code:


The DVLA licence changes means that policyholders can no longer rely on counterpart licences when carrying out licence checks for drivers.

The options now available to policyholders are;

Request a copy of the licence summary from the driver which he/she can download from the DVLA website or;

Request direct access to the drivers licence details via the DVLA website

To request direct access to a driver’s licence information, the driver would need to access their own licence information via the DVLA website (as outlined above) and generate a code which allows them to share their licence details with third parties (e.g. their employer or insurer). The driver must then provide this code to the third party along with the last 8 characters of their driving licence number. The third party can then access the licence information directly here:


Note that the DVLA generated code will only last 72 hours and can only be used once. It is also important to remember that accessing someone’s licence information without their consent is a criminal offence.

In many cases, insurers will also need to validate a driver’s licence information. As these DVLA introduced changes are so new, most insurers are yet to issue clear guidance on how they intend to validate driver licence details. However we anticipate that many insurers will request a copy of the photo card, the last 8 characters of the driving licence number, and the sharing code which the driver would have to request via the DVLA website. Some insurers may be more relaxed and may accept a copy of the photo card and licence summary which has been downloaded and supplied by the driver.

Option 1 above is perhaps an easier method for the checking of licences, however Option 2 is more secure and less susceptible to fraud from drivers.

If you would like to discuss licence checking or any insurance related queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.

03330 430 430

Image – Courtesy of DVLA, www.gov.uk/dvla