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Action needed to counter counterfeit driving licences on fleets

The DVLA is being called on to supply third-party licence checking providers with more data to stamp out the “small but growing” problem of counterfeit driving licences.

licence check

Richard Brown of Licence Check says providing third-party licence check firms with more data could cut down on counterfeit licences.

The call comes from Licence Check, which says that counterfeit driving licences pose enormous risk to fleet operators.

Managing director Richard Brown commented: “The simple answer is for the DVLA to supply third-party licence checking providers with more data. For example, each driving licence carries a Unique Identifier (generated by the card manufacturer) which is a unique reference etched into a driving licence. If the DVLA made the Unique Identifier available to licence checking providers, an enhanced check could be carried out and lost, stolen or forged cards could easily be flagged up and withdrawn from circulation.”

Brown explained that the first line of defence against counterfeit documentation is the fleet manager or administrator who requests the driver’s paper licence or photo-card and will be able to check on a number of visible and invisible security features built into these documents that licence checking companies don’t have access to.

However, he added: “It’s an unfortunate truth that the vast majority of fleet managers won’t or don’t check or look for more than one or two of these obvious features. In many cases they will be unaware that others exist or how to test for these (for example using an ultraviolet light source). So the first line of defence is all too often ignored or there is only a cursory inspection.

“The benefit of storing the issue number as part of the driver record is that this is a unique reference number that could be used to identify lost, stolen or known counterfeit documents. If the issue number formed part of the driver enquiry, the fact that the card was reported stolen or missing could be returned by the DVLA and the offending document could then be seized and taken out of circulation.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 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.