From January 2015 the paper part of the driving licence will officially disappear as the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) continues its aim to digitise motorists’ records.
The traditional paper tax disc has been replaced by an electronic system from October 2014, which ministers believe will streamline services and save money.
Last October, the Department for Transport launched a review into how to make the DVLA “deliver better services and save money for the taxpayer”.
Stephen Hammond, roads minister, concluded in a report that one of the main reforms would be to “remove the driving licence paper counterpart.”
But what does this mean for the 46 million motorists in Britain, particularly for those who only have the paper component of the licence?
The DVLA says you do not need to take any action. The paper licence will continue to be valid – at least until it needs to renewed.
Those who have an old style paper driving licence issued before the photocard was introduced in 1998, this change won’t affect you, and you should keep your licence.
The next time you need to update your name, address or renew your licence, you will be issued with a photocard only.
Those who have the photocard should continue using it, remembering to renew it when necessary (gov.uk/renew-driving-licence). Motorists could face a £1,000 fine if they are caught with an invalid licence.
The DVLA confirmed that there would be no charge for changing an old style paper licence to a photocard licence with a change of details.
However, once the motorist has the photocard licence, they will have to pay £20 each time it is renewed (every 10 years). Paper licences do not need to be renewed.
Anyone over the age of 70 will need to renew their licence every three years, updating it with any medical conditions. This is free of charge. If a driver updated their licence with a change of address, name or notified a medical conditions then the updated licence issued will be a photocard licence.
Holiday-makers hiring a vehicle abroad should speak with the hire company before leaving. The old style paper licence will continue to be valid and we are able to confirm to a company, with the driver’s permission, the driving entitlements they hold. However, drivers may wish to check with the car hire company their requirements for proof of driving entitlement before travelling.