The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) says the scrapping of UK driving licence counterparts has been hurriedly introduced without thought of what ramifications it will have. The paper section of DVLA issued two-part licences have no legal standing with effect from today 8 June 2015.
BVRLA chief-executive Gerry Keaney explained that hire companies needed to see the licence counterparts of UK drivers when they picked up their vehicles. He noted that the photo-card section of the licences only showed the holder’s basic details, but not any convictions for driving offences.
Until today, the convictions were recorded on the counterpart. This system is being replaced by one which Mr Keaney says is far from perfect. From today, all drivers holding licences obtained from the DVLA, but not Northern Ireland’s DVA, will have to apply for an authorisation code to use when they rent cars.
Drivers can apply for the code from the DVLA website up to 72 hours before they are due to get their cars. The UK’s car hire industry says problems will stem from the 72-hour deadline as people travelling abroad may not have access to an internet connection to generate their codes while others are simply not aware the counterpart system has been scrapped.
The RAC recently confirmed that many drivers it had quizzed about the changeover did not know about it. The AA says people in doubt should take their old counterpart with them when they go to the rental depot.
For its part, the DVLA says the transition has been meticulously planned and is not difficult to navigate. The agency’s CEO, Oliver Morley, stated the new system was easy to use and only needed drivers to input their licence and national insurance numbers. He added that when logged on, the licence holder had the option of creating a PDF record to save to any compatible mobile device.