Confusion still reigns on the eve of the end of the counterpart licence

Confusion still reigns on the eve of the end of the counterpart licence 29th May 2015

With just over a week to go until the paper counterpart driving licence is retired forever, one leading road charity has warned that there is still a lot of confusion among drivers about what this will mean for them. 

In scenes reminiscent of 2014 when the paper tax disc was scrapped, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has said that there are still many who have no idea about the fact their paper licence will no longer be of many use, while others are unaware of the effects this will have.

As of June 8th, the counterpart licence, which was introduced as a companion for the new photocard licence in 1998 to include additional information that could not be held on the card, will no longer be used. Instead, all of the details about what cars a driver is entitled to drive, any penalty points they have accrued and any endorsements they may have, will be held electronically by the DVLA as of June 8th. 

However, the IAM says that many do not know this, and may continue to use their counterpart licence as they have done in the past. But what are the implications of this impending change?

Essentially, the paper licence will be a thing of the past entirely. No longer will the information that used to be stored on the licence be updated via this medium, and the counterpart will have no legal standing as it currently does. 

It will mean that drivers need to know where to go to prove their driving records, whether it be to an employer or when renting a car. 

Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer, said: “People are not aware of how many of the current procedures are changing. Similar to the abolition of the tax disc, they assume much of what has happened before will continue. 

“The onus is very much on the individual to obtain the information they need beforehand. So we very much hope people will not be caught unawares, especially if they don’t want a nasty surprise when arriving to collect their car at the start of their holiday.”

Posted by Danielle Barge