UK Traffic News | Blog

Our Blog on the UK Traffic News Website

From Monday 8th June 2015 - Paper Counterpart driving licence scrapped

From today, Monnday 8th June 2015 the paper counterpart driving licence is being abolish by the DVLA as part of the Governements drive to go digital.

Accessing Your Driving Licence Information Online

From 8th Jue 2015 you can view your driving licence information online you will need the following information to do this:

  1. your driving licence number
  2. your National Insurance number
  3. the postcode on your driving licence
This is not available for paper counterpart licences issued in Northern Ireland and there is a paper method to ontain the information but that involves a £5 fee which the online method does not.

The online record does not include historical (expired) points or information.

We tried it today and it was extremely slow and problematic and took an number of failed attempts.

Remember your driving licence number is 16 digits long (ignore the last 2 numbers after the space in pint 5. of your photo driving licence if that is where you are getting your driving licence number from.

On our first attempt we had lots of problems today accessing the service. First we had a web error "405 Not Allowed".  The next message saiad there was a page information error and the third attempt a web error meesage we had was a "500 internal server error" message.

Infact we gave up after double and triple checking the information we were entering and ofter 5 failed attempts to access the service online. Not a great start for this new online service!

No doubt some of the teething problems many observers are concerned about.  Many uers are going to find that very frustrating especially a peak times as the Government does not have a good track record with online services. 

This new system is likely to make life difficult for drivers until everyone is aware of the change and any teething problems have been overcome.

It certainly means you will have to think ahead when wanting to hire a vehicle for instance as hire companies will need a code from you that expires after 72 Hours to access your driving record online. That is a short time window so be prepared!

Your can get the "share your licence information" code by:

  • calling the DVLA on 0300 790 6801, or
  • online at share driving record then select the 4th tab "share" and use the "create a code" buttom.

The digital drive has been the tax disk being abolised during 2014 and the UK Governement says that abolishing the paper counterpart driving licence will save millions of pounds.

Video Update from DVLA About the Paperless Counterpart Driving Licence



Although the DVLA state the paper counterpart no longer has any legal status from Monday 8th June and it can be destroyed some driving agencies including the AA are urging drivers to hang on to the paperless counterpart driving licence as there are likely to be teething problems as many people are completely unaware of this latest DVLA change.

This probably seems wise.

Likely problems include travel and car hire abroad and in the UK and the fact that so few people appear to be aware of this latest change.

Car hire companies often ask for the paper counterpart driving licence which features points incurred for driving offences.

The DVLA has issued new information on the .Gov website about the driving licence changes.

IMPORTANT: Paper driving licences issued before the photocard was introduced in 1998 will remain valid and should not be destroyed. (Source .Gov website 8th June 2015).

Driving Penalty Points & Endorements


From today Monday 8 June 2015 new penalty points i.e. endorsements for driving offenses will only be recorded electronically.

Thye will no longer be printed or written on either photocard licences or paper driving licences.

From 8 June 2015 if you commit an offence you will still have to pay any applicable fine and submit your licence to the court however:-

  • For photocard licences, the court will retain the paper counterpart and only return the photocard to you.
  • For paper licences, the court will return it to you but they won’t have written or printed the offence details on it.

This means that from 8 June 2015 neither the photocard driving licence nor the paper licence will provide an accurate account of any driving endorsements you may have.

Under the new system this information will instead be held on DVLA’s driver electronic record, and can be viewed online, by phone or post.

Vehicle Hire & Other Agencies

Car Hire and other vehicle hire companies or organisations that regularly check the counterpart for entitlements or endorsements can use the Check Driving Licence Service to check the licence using the code provided by the driver. 

You can use this service to check someone’s driving licence information, eg the vehicles they can drive or any penalty points or disqualifications.

You’ll need:

    the last 8 characters of their driving licence number
    a check code from the driver

You must use the code within 72 hours. You can only use the code once after that you will have to get another code to do another check on that driver.

With the driver’s consent these companies can view the details on a driving licence, eg the vehicle categories the driver is entitled to drive and any endorsements or penalty points they currently have.

The service also gives the option to print or save a copy of the information.

To help companies or employers who use the new service there is a step by step guide.

Organisations can make a check by phone if they don’t have a check code to use with the online service. However they will need to ask the driver they are doing the check on to call DVLA on 0300 790 6801 and leave permission for the check to be done.

Thye can then call DVLA on 0906 139 3837 (calls cost 51p per minute) to check the driver’s details after they’ve given their permission.

Many companies are likely to pass this additional cost of to those hiring a vehicle for instance.

Taking your theory or driving test


From 8 June 2015, you won’t need to take your paper counterpart with you when you go for your theory or driving test.

You must still take your photocard, or your old-style paper licence otherwise your test will be cancelled and you’ll have to pay again if you don’t.



Today 1 October 2014 Marks The End Of The Tax Disc

Today, 1 October 2014 was the day that the UK tax disc in the front of your vehicle came to an end.

The Road Tax Disc has been abolished.

The link above is to our previous blog post on the abolishion of the tax disc and some of the things to watch out for.

DVLA .Gov Website Bombarded


The BBC and others reported people trying to get road tax online today taking up to 13 hours!

The first day of online only applications, although actually you can still go to the post office still at present to renew your road tax licence, was bound to be a busy one.

But just maybe .Gov were not prepared.

As the Government of the UK, whatever the political party in power, seem to force people to do more and more online it is worrying that we then have to rely on Government to have the infrastructure in place to cope with demand.

No dount it will get better and the .Gov website will adapt to cope, lets hope so.

As the .Gov website is becoming central for all or most things Government based, for instance much of the HMRC website is moving to .Gov now, the strain on .Gov is only likely to get more and more.

So when .Gov breaks, the inconvenience to citizens (and government) is only going to be made all the worse.

The joys of too much centralisation, although it makes sense to save costs which is the governements aim.

Time will tell.


Has Congestion On UK Roads Got Worse?

When you are sat in a pile of traffic do you sit there thinking the traffic and traffic congestion is getting worse?

Did you know that Local ‘A’ roads account for around 9% of all roads in England, but carry around a third of all traffic around England.

Increase in Congestion in England in 2013


The Government measures a traffic speed using in-vehicle GPS (Global Positioning Systems) to record journey times and the number of vehicles using automatic traffic counters.

Peak period is officially classed as between 7am to 10am weekdays Monday to Friday and during peak periods in the 21 months ended December 2013 average speeds have fallen steadily which is an indication of increased congestions.

So is this due to an increase in the number of cars or vehicles on 'A' roads?

The downward trend in average traffic speed and increase in congestion over this period is at least partly due to the level of rainfall over the last 21 months. According to the Met Office 2012 was the wettest year on record in England and the first three months of 2013 were wetter than each of the same months in 2012. A good indicator that weather conditions are at least partly to blame with January 2013 particularly being affected by snow.

In more recent months more cars were reported to be using 'A' roads which also contributed to congestion and reductions in average speed. However this is perhaps as weather conditions were slightly better more drivers were prepared to venture out rather than during bad weather months.

Increase in Number of Vehicles on the Road

The DVLA reported that there were 35.0 Million vehicles registered and licensed on the road in Great Britain at the end of 2013 which is a 1.5% increase on 2012 and the biggest annual increase since 2007. Just of 29 Million of the licenced vehicles were cars or around 83%.

It would therefore be wrong to totally blame the weather due to the rise in number of vehicles licensed for road use.

The number of vehicles licensed each year rose at a faster rate between 1994 and 2005 and although increasing every year since 2005 is at a slower rate compared to pre 2005. The recession no doubt having an effect on this.

Conclusion and looking forward

It would perhaps be fair to conclude that a mixture of the increase number of cars and vehicles licensed to use the roads in Great Britain and the particularly bad weather conditions during 2012 and 2013 have both contributed to the increased level of congestion on UK roads and slower average traffic speeds in peak periods.

As the UK comes out of recession it is likely the number of vehicles licensed for road use will increase and this is unlikely to mean congestion is going to reduce and if weather conditions in 2014 and 2015 are wet or poor like 2012 and 2013 that will only make matters even worse.