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Drivers still not getting to grips with DVLA online licence checking system

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) launched online checking of employees’ driving licences earlier this year following the abolition of the paper counterpart. Two separate checking services have been developed:

  • View Driving Licence (VDL) is intended for drivers to check their own records only, and is not intended to be used by third parties.
  • Share My Driving Licence (SMDL) enables employers to access employees’ driving records subject to the latter giving permission. To share their licence details, drivers will access the VDL service and generate a one-time use unique code that is valid for up to 72 hours – the driver can then share the code with their employer. The employer can then input the code and the last eight digits of an employee’s driving licence number to the SMDL page to view a driver’s licence status, endorsements and the vehicles they are eligible to drive.

However, speaking at this week’s special seminar held by ACFO, the DVLA said that some employees are logging into their driver licence record and printing off a copy and voluntarily providing it to their employer.

Paul Jeffreys, corporate services, DVLA, explained: “VDL is intended for the individual, so that’s their own personal driving licence record. If sharing it, then do not print that record off because there is information on it which should not be shared with others, such as medical information and driving information, particularly disqualifications.

“With the insurance industry, it’s widely accepted that they only need five years [of driving history], yet people believe they look for disqualifications for up to 11 years. We do not release that information because that is what is agreed with the insurance industry.

“If drivers share a VDL print off they will be unwittingly providing people with more information than they are entitled to. It’s actually illegal to ask for that information, so if people are asking for it, they shouldn’t be. They should stay within their remits and just look up endorsements in the last five years.”

The DVLA is looking at expanding its online Fleet Scheme that enables businesses to check a raft of vehicle information including Vehicle Excise Duty renewal and MoT dates to include leased vehicles.

Currently the Fleet Scheme is only accessible to vehicle owners, but Jeffreys told a fleet manager in charge of a leased fleet: “It’s something we are looking at because it’s just as beneficial for you to access the View Vehicle Record or get a download. That’s the kind of feedback we need to keep coming through.”

Asked if the digital Fleet Scheme could be extended to include vehicle insurance details, Jeffreys said the DVLA would investigate to see if that was possible. He added: “We want to tailor our services to customers. You tell us what you need and we will work with you to deliver.”

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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.