From next week, 8 June 2015, the Counterpart driving licence will be obsolete as the DVLA introduce their new digital system. But what does this mean for motorists? In truth, there will be little change to most drivers, they can simply destroy the Counterpart but be sure to retain the photo card. Those drivers still in possession of a paper licence issued prior to 1998 should keep their licence as it remains valid albeit, the DVLA will allow an upgrade free of charge.
This change will bring the system in into the 21st Century and follows the recent abolition of tax disks. The DVLA website will now allow motorists to check the status of their licence, entitlements and endorsements at the click of a button. It is also intended that access could be granted to third parties, at the request of the driver, to show the same details. This, it is envisaged, could be used by employers or third parties such as hire companies or insurance companies.
The new digital system will bring a transparency and simplicity the licencing or certainly will for those that are computer literate. It will also cause fewer difficulties for people receiving penalty points as there will no longer be a requirement to submit extraneous pieces of paper that are often mislaid or lost in the post. In recent years, it has also been that case that if the Counterpart had not been received for endorsement of points, the driving entitlement would actually be withdrawn, leaving many drivers potentially driving unlawfully without their knowledge.
It is entirely possible that this change may encourage motorists to take a cursory glance at their licence online. At which time, they could well be surprised to find points for offences they were unaware of. If this occurs there are many routes to consider but often these points can be challenged and legal advice should be sought immediately.