Updates and advice to motorists on abolition of the counterpart to the photocard driving licence.
From 8 June 2015, the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence will not be valid and will no longer be issued by DVLA. The counterpart was introduced to display driving licence details that could not be included on the photocard. These details include some vehicle categories you are entitled to drive and any endorsement/penalty points.
If you already hold a paper counterpart, after 8 June 2015 it will no longer have any legal status. You should destroy your paper counterpart after this date but you still need to keep your current photocard driving licence.
Driving examiners across the UK are to stage a one-day strike over pay
Driving examiners across the UK are to stage a one-day strike over pay, threatening disruption to thousands of driving tests.
Around 1,500 examiners will walk out on February 17 after voting heavily in favour of industrial action.
The Public and Commercial Services Union said 5,000 driving tests will be disrupted by the stoppage.
The examiners voted by over 70% in favour of industrial action in a long-running dispute over pay.
It will be the first strike by driving test examiners in more than a decade.
The union also announced that administrative workers at driving centres will strike for two days, February 16 and 17, because of the pay row.
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In 2015, DVLA will no longer issue the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence.
What this means for you
You do not need to take any action, just keep your current photocard driving licence.
If you have an old style paper driving licence issued before the photocard was introduced in 1998, this change won’t affect you, and you should keep your licence.
The next time you need to update your name, address or renew your licence, you will be issued with a photocard only.
Entitlements, penalty points and the status of your driving licence won’t change.
What to do with your paper counterpartWhen DVLA stops issuing the counterpart of the driving licence, those drivers who already have a counterpart may destroy it.
You’ll still be able to use the counterpart driving licence to change your address with DVLA. You can also change your address online.
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Organisations and businesses that check the driving licence counterpartDVLA is developing a new digital enquiry service for launch later this year that will allow organisations and businesses (such as employers and car hire companies) to view information they can currently see on the driving licence counterpart.
This new service will be offered in addition to the existing services, but is designed for those who have a business need for real-time access to the information and may not wish to call DVLA or be in a position to use an intermediary.
Driving licence information via this service will only be made available to those who have a right to see it, and with the knowledge of the driving licence holder.
NewsletterStakeholders and commercial customers can find further information about the abolition of the counterpart in our newsletters.
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Driving examiner will on strike on 15 October 2014 however any cancelled tests to be rebooked: Nothing to worry
Driving test candidates who had their test cancelled because of strike action will have their test rebooked at no further cost.
Some driving examiners who are members of the Public and Commercial Service union took strike action on Wednesday 15 October 2014. Around 85% of driving tests went ahead as planned.
You won’t have to contact the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency to rebook if you couldn’t take your test because of the strike action. You should hear from the agency with a new test date within 5 to 10 working days.
You can change the new test date if it doesn’t suit you.
Out of pocket expensesYou can claim out of pocket expenses if your test was cancelled, but you must have turned up for your test to be able to do this. If you didn’t turn up, you’ll have to rebook your own test and won’t be able to claim expenses.
Find out how to claim out-of-pocket expenses
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Tax discs will be abolished on October 1 but of those aware change is ahead, half do not know the exact date
Paper tax discs will vanish from cars in less than six weeks - but half of drivers are still unaware of the new rules.
The windscreen tax discs will be scrapped from October 1 and replaced by electronic records where police cameras will check number plates to catch owners who have not paid.
However, a survey found that 50 per cent of drivers are still ignorant about when the changes take effect.
Nearly a third of them said they will not even try to find out what the new rules are, according to the poll by price comparison website money.co.uk.
The poll found that 6 per cent of motorists believe that the changes are not coming into force until next year.
Almost a third of those polled said they will wait for instructions from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.
However, the comparison website claims that the DVLA has not yet started adding warnings to tax renewal reminders.
Hannah Maundrell, editor in chief of money.co.uk, said: “Changes to the vehicle tax system are no bad thing and we fully welcome the introduction of direct debit payments, particularly for consumers who may be struggling to keep up with the soaring cost of driving.
“It will also help to eliminate the problem of people who genuinely forget to renew their tax and end up being stung with a hefty fine.
“However, I suspect the new system may experience some teething problems so drivers really need to make sure they're on top of their game.”
The move away from paper discs, after 93 years, is designed to offer motorists more flexible payment options and make it harder for people to evade taxing their cars.
Estimates show that the changes could save the taxpayer £10million a year. Car owners will still need to have paid vehicle tax to drive on the roads.
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But under the new system, the tax will no longer be automatically transferred with a car when it is sold.
Sellers are expected to tell the DVLA straight away of the change of ownership or face £1,000 fines.
Shane Teskey, from vehicle history check website hpicheck.com, told the Mail: “Those who fail to inform the DVLA, could be fined and they will still be liable for any speeding or parking fines and vehicle tax for a car they don't even own any more.”
Around 53 per cent of drivers said they would use the new option of paying by direct debit, according to the survey. Those choosing to spread the cost by paying twice a year or monthly will incur a 5 per cent additional charge.
However this is half of the 10 per cent surcharge currently applied to six-month tax discs, used by 23 per cent of drivers.
Motorists can also pay annually with no extra cost under the new system.
The scrapping of the tax disc has been well documented, and the change was officially announced in last year's Autumn Statement.
Automatic number plate recognition cameras will spot motorists who have not paid the tax. More than 1.7billion tax discs have been issued since 1921. Last year, the DVLA issued 42.2million of them.
- Death of the tax disc: learn new rules or risk £1,000 fine
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