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ACFO members give thumbs up to new DVLA licence checking service

Held in London, the hour-long one-to-one workshop gave ACFO members the chance to put the “Share My Driving Record” (SMDR) web-based service through its paces, with attendees having applauded its ease of use, straight-forward navigation and functionality as well as suggesting a number of enhancements that the DVLA pledged to take on board.

The DVLA has already confirmed that its online driver licence validation checking service will at least initially be free to fleets when it goes live to coincide with the abolition of the paper counterpart of the photocard driving licence by 1st January 2015.

The SMDR will enable employers to view online individual employees’ eligibility to drive and the number of penalty points on their licence.

However, among the enhancements that ACFO members suggested could be made to the SMDR service ahead of its launch were:

  • The ability to view a photo of the licence holder, their name and address, licence issue number and photo card expiry date
  • An ‘alert’ as soon as a driver receives additional points on their licence so fleet managers don’t have to wait possibly months until the next electronic check to find out.

Previously, ACFO has been concerned about security of the site, but members said their fears had been allayed on viewing the system.

Drivers are currently able to access the information the DVLA holds on their licence by inputting their driving licence number, National Insurance number and postcode. However, it remains to be seen which access controls will apply to the SMDR with the DVLA saying that it is trialling a number of options and will continue to obtain feedback pending a final decision.

ACFO director Julie Jenner said: ‘Database security is a major issue for ACFO. It is vital that access is tightly controlled and we will continue to discuss the issue with the DVLA. Nevertheless, we were delighted to hear from those members who viewed the system that security concerns may not be such a major issue as we first thought.’

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.