As of 8th June 2015 the UK driving licence will undergo significant changes. The paper part of the British driving licence will be scrapped and it will cease to have a legal status after 8 June 2015. Please get acquainted with the new rules which will also affect your car hire procedure. The paper part has been in use as an important, additional item, which contains such details as vehicle categories you are entitled to drive, or fines and penalty points. From June 2015 all the information about your penalty points and entitlements will be recorded exclusively electronically. Penalty points and other information will not be written nor printed on paper driving licences or photocards. You should destroy the paper part after 8 June 2015, and keep the photocard driving licence for regular further use. If your paper driving licence was issued before 1998, please keep it as it will remain valid.
Should you be involved in an accident or commit an offence, you will still need to pay the fine requested and submit your licence to the court. If you are in possession of a paper licence, they will be returned to you but without any printed or written details of the offence. Photocard licence holders need to know that the paper counterpart will be retained by the court, while the photocard itself will be returned to you. Your driving endorsements details will be kept in electronic form on DVLA's driver record. You can access this information online, per post or by telephone.
Car hire companies both home and abroad, and particularly in holiday destinations, have a common practice of checking the paper part of the driving licence for any misdemeanours. After 8 June 2015, motorists will have to provide car hire companies with their credentials in another way. Since your driving record will only be available online, you will need to access it at the government's Share Driving Licence service. The service is free of charge, and enables one to download the summary of their licence record, which can be printed and distributed if need be. Both paper and photocard driving licence holders should use the service. Motorists considering a car hire should log onto the DVLA website and obtain a special code which should be presented to car hire companies. The code will enable the car hire company to access your full driving licence details including the record of your penalty points. As an alternative, you may ask DVLA to grant permission that your driving licence be checked verbally by an organisation or an appointed person.
When will the paper part of the driving licence be scrapped?
As of 8 June 2015.
What happens to the information on the paper part?
It will be saved online on the DVLA website.
So far I have needed the paper part to rent a car. What happens now?
You will still need the information from the paper part. You should get in touch with DVLA (Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency) using their online service, and obtain a special code. Present the hire company with the code, which will enable them to look up your driving record online. Alternatively, you may download your driving record as a pdf-file yourself. However, it is still not clear whether car hire companies will accept this.
How long is the DVLA code valid?
The DVLA code is valid 21 days after the download.