Back in June, the DVLA removed the paper counterpart from the (still active) photocard driving license. There are however some concerns that car companies abroad may not be fully aware of these changes, which could cause potential problems for holidaymakers.
The paper counterpart was used to record any penalty points that you may have accrued, but with its retirement, all those points now get stored electronically on the DVLA’s driver record. This means you can check your own driver record online.
The best thing to do is to check with the car rental company regarding what paperwork they’ll want to take a look at upon arrival. If you need to show them information and evidence of what vehicles you’re allowed to drive or any penalty points you currently have, you can ask the DVLA for a unique code which allows the hire company to check your driver record. Remember that this link will only be valid for 72 hours so be sure you time it correctly.
The main obstacle is that no one is sure whether all rental companies are aware of these changes so that could pose problems especially if there’s a language barrier. A recent article in the Guardian stated that many car hire companies want to examine the paper document to check on any endorsements or bans – this could lead to travellers being denied a hire car.
A representative for Hertz told the Guardian that they will usually ask customers for the DVLA one-time passcode, or for a PDF version of it, or they will use the DVLA premium-rate line.
So if you’re planning to hire a car abroad, here’s a checklist to help beat any difficulties:
· Contact DVLA directly the day before you go away and collect your unique code
· Ensure you don’t forget your photocard license
· Take your old paper counterpart (if you still have it)
· Keep a note of the number of the DVLA and website the hire car company will require
Miller and Middleton is a SEAT dealer in Essex and we would be happy to speak with you directly if you have any more questions regarding your driving license.