UK driving license

Hiring a car abroad? Check in with the DVLA before you travel

If you’re planning to rent a car while abroad this year, be aware of DVLA changes which threaten to put the brakes on your summer holidays.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is scrapping the counterpart driving licence on 8th June 2015.

The paper driving licence will no longer be issued by the DVLA so when you renew or change your address on your licence after June 8th, only a new photo card will be sent back.

But motoring organisations are warning drivers about the problems the end of the paper licence could cause to hiring a car abroad.

Avoid being caught out. Visit the DVLA website before you travel and input your licence and National Insurance numbers to receive a unique temporary passcode that’s valid for 72 hours only. If you want to hire a car more than three days into a trip, you’ll need to generate a new code while abroad – possibly incurring costs to access WiFi and of course, the inconvenience of doing so.

If you don’t have access to internet then the DVLA can be contacted via a phone number that is soon to be provided.

When DVLA stops issuing the counterpart, you should destroy yours but you still need to keep your current photocard driving licence. If you only have a paper driving licence (that’s licences issued before 1998) you need to keep hold of it as these will remain valid and shouldn’t be destroyed.

From 8 June 2015, penalty points will no longer be recorded on paper licences and the information will be held on the DVLA’s digital driver record. You’ll be able to check this online, by phone or by post. The temporary code provides similar access for a hire company to assess your driving history.

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