New rules for hiring a car come into force from today

The paper driving licence is being abolished

Jon Stone
Monday 08 June 2015 07:59 BST

New rules have come into effect governing the documents motorists need when hiring a car.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has scrapped the paper counterpart to the driving license photo card.

The now-defunct document contained a history of drivers’ convictions and penalties.

Instead, drivers who are required to demonstrate their background to car hire firms will have to generate a code using the DVLA website.

Sharing the code with their car rental agency will allow it to look up the driver’s history.

Some industry figures have raised concerns about the changes, however.

The code is only valid for three days, which could make it more difficult to rent a car mid-holiday in an area without internet access.

An alternative phone line does exist for people who forget to generate a code but it has limited working hours.

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association said the changes had been rushed through.

In April Mark Bower, of the car hire insurance website MoneyMaxim, said the implementation was “muddled” and that it could cause problems abroad.

By contrast the DVLA said the changes would make things easier.

“It’s very easy to view and share your driving record. Just go to GOV.UK and search for ‘view driving licence’,” said Oliver Morley, chief executive of the DVLA.

“You can view your information electronically and generate a check code which you can then share with people who need to see your details (such as an employer or car hire company). If you want to, you can also download and print a summary.”

Transport Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon said: “Replacing the counterpart with an online service will save motorists money and reduce unnecessary red tape. It will also benefit employers and vehicle hire companies.

“Relying on the counterpart meant relying on a potentially out of date piece of paper.”

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