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No more counterpart: date confirmed for abolition

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As part of the government’s Red Tape Challenge initiative to remove unnecessary burden, it’s now been confirmed by Ministers that from 8 June 2015, DVLA will no longer issue the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence. This means from that date, existing paper counterparts will no longer be valid. We’re advising drivers to destroy their counterpart after this date.

Drivers who hold a paper only driving licence (issued before the photocard was introduced in 1998) remain valid and should not be destroyed.

So how will drivers check their driver record when the counterpart is gone?

In 2014 we launched our View Driving Licence  service which allows GB driving licence holders to view their driving record online. The service is free and easy to use and available 24/7.  Drivers can check what type of vehicles they can drive and any endorsements (penalty points) they may have.

Driving licence holders can also check the details on their driving record by phone or post.

How will employers, car hire companies, and anyone else who currently checks the paper counterpart be able to check driving licence information?

We’re currently developing two new digital enquiry services. The first service is ‘Share Driving Licence’ which will provide an online alternative for those who currently have a business need to check the information displayed on the driving licence counterpart. Share Driving Licence will be a free, 24/7 service and is currently scheduled to be available in Spring 2015.

The second service is ‘Access to Driver Data’ which will provide real-time driving licence data via a business-to-business interface (or API). Access to this service will be subject to users agreeing contractual terms. Connection and enquiry costs are currently under consideration. The service is currently scheduled to be available in summer 2015.

We’ve prepared an information pack for our stakeholders and commercial customers that provides more detail on these changes. If you would like a copy of this or have enquiries on our new services please email me at

I’ll keep you informed of developments through this blog. Public information will be published on our GOV.UK campaign page at


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