The UK paper counterpart of your driving licence will no longer be valid

The UK paper counterpart of your driving licence will no longer be valid

When you pack for a trip abroad, do you have a checklist of everything you need? Passport? Tickets? Driving licence photocard and paper counterpart?

If you’re sick of having to take a whole heap of documents with you when you go abroad, you’ll be pleased to know that British holidaymakers and businesspeople travelling to Northern Cyprus will find that hiring a vehicle from Pacific Rent a Car will become a whole lot easier after changes to the licensing system come into effect later this year.

From 8 June 2015, the paper counterpart of your driving licence will no longer be valid, so you’ll only need to produce your driving licence photocard when collecting your car from us. This move is part of the British government’s initiative to reduce red tape and paperwork following the abolition of paper tax discs in 2014 and is aimed at making it easier for drivers to keep track of their driving record.

However, it’s worth bearing in mind that this change will not affect people from Northern Ireland or those who have a paper driving licence issued before the introduction of photocards in 1998. These paper licences will remain valid until replaced with a photocard e.g. when you update your personal details.

So what does this mean for you when you visit North Cyprus?

Before you travel, you’ll need to visit the dvla.gov.uk website or call 0300 083 0013 and request a unique code linked to your driving licence record. This code will be valid for up to 72 hours and will allow us to check your information. Alternatively, simply download a summary for your driving licence record and bring that along when you collect your vehicle.

It couldn’t be simpler!

If you didn’t realise that these changes were about come into effect, don’t worry – you’re not alone. RAC spokesman Simon Williams was reported as saying that “our research shows that, with just over a month to go before the paper counterpart to the photo-card licence disappears, 55 per cent of drivers are not aware of the planned change.”

There are also concerns that it’s not just UK drivers who don’t know about the change in the law. Some are worried that overseas car hire companies will also be unaware that the paper counterpart will be invalid after 8 June, but here at Pacific Rent a Car, we make sure that we’re always fully up to date with the latest British driving legislation, so you won’t have to worry about annoying hassles or delays when you rent a vehicle from us.

The removal of the paper counterpart brings the UK into line with the rest of Europe, where driving licences are a single photocard. Indeed, many European car hire companies don’t even realise that there is a second part to the British licence, since they’re not used to this uniquely British approach to logging any changes to your driving record, such as penalty points or personal details.

The DVLA has dismissed any claims that the transition to the new system may cause delays for British travellers looking to hire vehicles overseas. The latest word from the DVLA is that anyone needing to provide evidence of their driving record will be able to do this free of charge via the new Share Driving Licence service. As of yet, there is no news as to the exact date for when this system will be live, but the DVLA insists that it will be working before the abolishment of the paper counterpart. Alternatively, you will also be able to phone the DVLA and authorise a nominated person or organisation to verbally check your driving record.

If you have any concerns about the pending changes, there is an online video tutorial on the DVLA website that talks through all the implications of the new, streamlined approach to driving licences and of course, Pacific Rent a Car are always happy to talk you through what you need to bring when you hire a vehicle from us.

As it is, after 8 June, you’ll have one fewer important document to worry about, which means you can relax and focus on enjoying your hire car!

Read related news www.telegraph.co.uk