The 2015 Driving Licence changes

Since 8th June 2015 the paper counterpart to the photo-card driving licence is no longer valid and will no longer be issued or updated. Therefore it leaves many employers’ questioning how they will check their employee’s driving details. However, don’t panic help is at hand – check out this easy guide to ensure you stay compliant!

For those who obtained their driving licence prior to the photo-card in 1998, your paper driving licence is still legal however like the paper counterpart this will no longer be updated. As a result this leaves both tools for checking your employees or workers driving details unreliable…

Why check your driver’s details?

As an employer you have legal duty of care, not only to your employees, but other road users when workers are driving on company business or are authorised to use company vehicles.

Your fleet insurance will require you to check, as a minimum, your employees driving status at regular intervals (necessary as part of a risk assessment) assessing such information as:

  • The driver holds a full and valid driving licence for the type of vehicle they are to drive
  • That the licence details are accurate and up to date
  • Whether a driver is still within their two year probationary period
  • Any endorsements or disqualification

As a result, it is essential to have robust procedures in place to ensure all your drivers are legal and capable of driving on your behalf. Avoidance will lead to a serious breach in your legal duties of care and possesses risk of corporate and personal prosecution. Remember: your duty of care is equal for all drivers using your fleet.

How can you comply with these legal duties?
  1. Have a written procedure based on the law and risk assessments relating to your operations, use this as your check list and could in turn be condensed and provided within the Employee Handbook
  2. Assess whether driver’s are acknowledging your procedure this can be done through the procedure being readily available to employees and them signing that they have read, understood and will adhere to the procedure
  3. At regular intervals check their driving license, ensure the vehicle is safely maintained and measure the overall capability of the driver
How will you now check licenses?

In order to check licenses you will now use what is called ‘Real Time’ licence checking. Due to changes to your licence such a penalty points, will now be recorded electronically therefore no offences will appear on any paper licence or counterpart so neither form of the licence will now provide accurate information about any driving endorsements or changes. Information will now be held by the DVLA, and can be viewed online here or alternatively by phone or post.

Although the free online option is particularly less time consuming, you must note that it is a criminal offence to obtain personal information without permission, therefore to enable you to legally access such information you employee will need to create a licence ‘check code’ enabling you to share their personal details. This code is valid for 21 days.

It is also important to note that this service is only for UK licenses and cannot be used for those issued outside of the United Kingdom. This will mean that you will require a second procedure to check such employees and remain legally compliant.

To obtain a ‘check code’ your employees will need:

  • Driving Licence number
  • National Insurance (NI) number
  • Postcode on their driving licence

If your driver is unable to generate a code online then they can call 0300 083 0013 and the DVLA will provide them with a code for you.

Alternatively, the driver can call the DVLA on 0300 790 6801 and leave permission for their driving record to be checked verbally by a nominated person within your organisation. You can then call DVLA on 0906 139 3837 (51p per minute) to check the driver’s details you’ve recieved their permission.

Once you have all the above (check code, driving licence number, NI number and postcode on the driving license) you can view the details of the driving licence online.

 Free one hour client consultation

We are keen to find out how we can support organisations and are offering a free one hour consultation with our HR specialist Edwina Brewster. Call us today on 01223 855441 to find out more.

If you are looking for your next role or a new member of your team, call the Aspire recruitment team today on 01223 855440.

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