DVLA makes U-turn and significantly extends validity period for driving licence checks

The DVLA has extended the time period that third parties can view a driver’s licence records via an online code from 72 hours to 21 days in a "victory for common sense".

This move has been welcomed by industry, however online licence checking still remains a contentious issue amongst firms needing to check multiple licences, following the abolition of the paper counterpart last month.

Ian Gallagher, FTA lead on DVLA, said: “Allowing employers longer to use the code before it expires is a sensible move."

However we still believe more changes are needed to make the system efficient and effective, such as the ability to check non-GB licences online instead of via an office hours-only phone line.  "Bulk checking of licences is also an issue that needs to be reviewed.”

He added: “The scheme was part of the government’s Red Tape Challenge to reduce legislative burden, but for employers with hundreds or even thousands of drivers it’s a cumbersome and time-consuming process, which does the exact opposite.”

BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney said he was pleased the DVLA had listened to industry concerns and adopted a common-sense approach. However, he said that the BVRLA would still press the DVLA to make other changes, such as extending the opening hours of its call centre and waiving the cost of the premium line telephone check service if customers turn up without an online code.

"Finally, we think that the DVLA can make it easier for people to access the View Driving Licence website by being more flexible on the ID required. For example, most travellers would find it easier to provide a passport number than a National Insurance number," he added.

RAC head of external affairs Pete Williams said: “This is a dramatic U-turn from the DVLA which feels very much like a victory for common sense.

"The big question is why was the validity of the ‘share your licence’ code fixed at three days in the first place, particularly as the system was brought in on the back of the abolition of the paper counterpart which the DVLA typically took far longer to update with new endorsements.”



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