UK drivers trying to access authorisation codes so they could rent cars were left high-and-dry earlier this week by the country’s new driving licence regulations. Getting their unique code requires licence holders to access a DVLA page called Share my Driving Licence.
The system launched on Monday and the spike in demand left many people unable to access the codes they needed to rent their vehicles. The new system replaces the need for drivers with two-part photo-card licences to carry the paper counterpart as well.
Drivers picking up rental vehicles now need to logon to the DVLA webpage to create a code which they give to the hire company. The car supplier is then able to use the code to access the driver’s records and check for any endorsements or disqualifications.
Angry drivers took to social media websites to vent their frustrations at being unable to access the codes. One Twitter user labelled the DVLA as amateurs while another lambasted the agency for introducing new procedures right at the start of the holiday season.
The DVLA tweeted an apology and said the site was experiencing high usage. DVLA chief-executive Oliver Morley also apologised but noted that many people had been able to retrieve their codes. He added that IT staff were trying to fix the issue.
Car hire companies and motoring organisations had predicted the need for authorisation codes would create chaos. The AA was one of the leading critics and president Edmund King said members had reported the website was either incredibly slow or inaccessible.
He also noted that the need to enter their national insurance numbers to get the code was causing problems for some members. The AA previously stated that when travelling abroad, hirers were unlikely to have this number with them and using passport numbers was more logical.