From the 8th June 2015 the paper counterpart to the British driving licence is no longer valid and no longer issued by the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
This is because all the information provided by the paper counterpart (classification of vehicles the licence holder is allowed to drive, penalty points etc) can be obtained online using the My Licence system.
By just having the photocard, licence holders should find it easier to share their driving history when picking up a hire car, starting a new job and even getting an insurance quote. This is because the driving licence number can be entered into the DVLA's online data base and all necessary information will be available.
Insurance companies, employers, car hire companies and anyone else who needs to, will be able to view driving details by just using the driving licence number – but only if the licence holder has given their permission.
Once the licence holder agrees to share their details, a code with a limited shelf life will be generated. The third party can then use this code to obtain the relevant details.
As well as reducing paper work, this scheme will help cut down on fraud and incorrect information being given. The government estimate £8 million will be saved by moving online.
On the DVLA website you can view and share your licence information. You need your driving licence number, national insurance number and the post code on your driving licence. Once these details have been entered you can view all the information you would have seen on the old paper counterpart including:
You can also generate a code for you to use if you want to share this information. This code is only valid for 21 days and you can also view any codes you've generated in the past (and whether they're active or inactive)
To get a code from the DVLA if you can't get online, you can call 0300 083 0013
To grant permission for someone else to view your details if you can't get online, call 0300 790 6801
The DVLA advise that anyone with the old paper counterpart should destroy it as it no longer has any legal status. However, it is very important that you still keep hold of your photocard driving licence.
If you were issued with a driving licence before 1998 and therefore have the older style paper driving licence, it's important you keep this. The old paper driving licences are still valid but as they're renewed, the new photocard will be issued in their replacement.
From the 8th June 2015 all penalty points are only recorded electronically. If you receive points, they're noted on the system and you still have to pay any fine issued. This means the driving licence you carry around will no longer be proof of a clean driving licence by itself. If you need to prove you have a clean driving licence, the information will have to be viewed online or requested over the phone or by post.
You are still legally obliged to keep all your personal information up to date, if you change your address or your name, you still need to notify the DVLA. From now on, it will only be the photocard you get back with your updated information.
You can find more information at gov.uk: Driving licence changes