To Throw or Not to Throw (the Paper Part of Your Licence)

Jun 23, 2015

The Driving and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) has advised driving licence holders (who have the two part photocard and paper licence) to destroy the paper counterpart - as from 8th June 2015 it is no longer valid. 

This is because driver details are now able to be accessed online from this date. It is all part of the government’s drive to hold information electronically. This is what happened when tax discs became a thing of the past. 

Drivers often ring us to ask what the police vehicles that sit on the side of the road do. Often they are not checking your speed, they are checking to see if your car is insured using ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) - yet more information stored electronically.

Drivers are able to access their own driver records by using the DVLA website.
To do this you can either search for ‘driver licence services’ in any search engine, or click here.

The information will supply details of what class of vehicles you are entitled to drive and (ahem!) how many points you have on your licence.

Is it good advice to destroy your paper licence as it will not be valid from the above date?

We would advise holders to keep your licence rather than destroy or discard it - at least for the short term. The reasons are as follows:

  • There will be a period of adjustment - if you are hiring a car here or abroad then there may be some catching up to do with the various companies. Better to have a car than be stranded at the airport, or not be able to hire that van
  • We have tested the link out - it does not always work
  • For money laundering checks it is always handy to provide proof by way of driving licence (both parts)

If you never quite found the time to replace your licence after 1998 (we see a few) then hold onto this as you do not have a two part licence – you possess the old licence – this is current and should not be destroyed or discarded. 

Confused? Give Pete Dodd a ring on 01279 712550 or email


Pete Dodd

About the author

Pete Dodd

Pete joined Nockolds in 2004 as a Partner within the Family Team. Before joining the firm Pete graduated from Bristol University with a degree in ...

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