The DVLA is set to raise millions as car rental companies and dealers are forced to use a premium rate phone number to check motorists’ driving licence details, following the scrapping of the paper driving licence on June 8.
While those who need to check motorists’ driving history are currently able to check drivers’ paper ‘counterpart’ driving licence, they will need to ring a 51p per minute phone line from next month onwards, if motorists haven’t actively set up an online driving record.
Instead of having a paper licence, drivers will be able to share their driving history through a sophisticated online system, that requires them to enter their driving licence number, postcode and national insurance number.
Once the paper licence is withdrawn, calls to the DVLA are predicted to rise from 2.5 million per year to around 10 million to serve the garages, car hire firms and other businesses that need to double check the details of the 10,000 people who go for test drives or borrow courtesy cars each day across the UK.
While getting rid of the paper part of the licence is a sensible move in theory, in practice its abolition could cause frustration for drivers and motor dealers.
Director of dealer solutions provider Cooper Solutions, Dean Pipitone, told Motoring Research: “The DVLA has developed a secure online checking option for the motor industry (ADD). However, this has significant set-up costs, subsequent annual charges and substantial look-up fees.
“While getting rid of the paper part of the licence is a sensible move in theory, in practice its abolition could cause frustration for drivers and motor dealers who have not considered this issue prior to June 8th.”
This move to abolish the paper licence comes after the DVLA scrapped the paper tax disc as it takes steps to streamline the way it works.