Motorists will need a code to hire car abroad

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ABOLISHING the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence will “not meet the needs of businesses”, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has warned.

The paper counterpart was introduced in 1998 alongside the photocard driving licence to display information such as provisional driving entitlement categories and current endorsements/penalty points that could not be included on the photocard itself.

From June 8, information about penalty points will only be held on the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) records which can be checked online, by phone or post.

FTA chief executive David Wells has written to the DVLA, saying that the new online system will make driver licence checking extremely difficult for freight operators, and needs to be reconsidered as a matter of urgency.

Mr Wells said: “Freight operators, who employ hundreds and sometimes thousands, of professional drivers have a legal obligation to check licences on a regular basis. FTA is not convinced that the proposed online checking system will be robust enough to cope with industry demands.”

In the last few days motoring groups have also expressed concerns over the new system, saying UK drivers could face problems hiring cars abroad.

Currently, the green section of paper is required mainly for hiring cars but it will no longer be valid, instead, anyone wanting to hire a car while travelling abroad will need a special code to show endorsable convictions like speeding.

To get a code, drivers will need to log on to the DVLA website but the code you’re given will only be valid for 72 hours. If you want to hire a car more than three days into a trip, you’ll need to generate a new code while abroad. If you don’t have access to internet, the DVLA will make a phone number available.