Driving licence data sharing rule change hailed as ‘common sense’

Driving licence data sharing rule change hailed as 'common sense' 14th July 2015

When the counterpart paper driving licence was abolished at the start of June, one of the main concerns for many motorists was the fact it would make it more problematic to hire a car thanks to the trouble it would cause for hire companies checking their data. 

While the counterpart driving licence once held all information on penalty points drivers had on their licences, the government has moved this all online in a move designed to save some £8 billion overall. 

However, there were concerns that this would make it harder to hire a car, especially given that when a code to share licence data with a hire firm is generated, it can only be used for three days. This is the reason behind a new move from the government that has been hailed by many as a victory for common sense. 

Car hire firms complained that there were often too many queues at rental desks, while drivers who wanted to hire abroad said they were concerned they couldn't generate a code at home in case it expired before they visited a rental office, and they also worried they wouldn't have the internet connection to do so overseas. 

The government responded to these concerns, and it has now announced that the checking period has been extended from just 72 hours to 21 days. For those without an internet connection, the DVLA will also provide better action to their data through a phone line. 

"We're pleased that the DVLA has listened to industry feedback that the code lifespan was too short," said Gerry Keaney, chief executive of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association. 

"This common sense approach will reduce queues at rental desks and give millions of renters more time to plan and arrive prepared ahead of their journey."

One of the main benefits for drivers is the fact that when they are overseas, they will be able to rent a car a week or two into their holiday without worrying about generating a code, which they can do before they leave the UK. 

Posted by Danielle Barge