On 8 June 2015, the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence was abolished. The counterpart contained information such as any penalty points you have. Similarly, old-style paper licences, issued until 1998, are still valid but they won’t be updated with penalty points. Instead, you can now view all your up-to-date driving licence information using DVLA’s View Driving Licence service.
These changes do not affect licences issued by DVA in Northern Ireland.
When hiring a vehicle
When collecting a vehicle from a hire company many only ask to see your photocard licence or your pre-1998 paper licence – but some also want to check whether you have any penalty points. They may ask for a code so that they can check your licence online or for a printout of your licence details.
What’s needed varies from company to company and between locations, so it is essential that you check with your hire company before you travel.
Getting a code or printout for the hire company
You can go online to obtain a code to give to your hire company. Each code is valid for 21 days from the date you obtain it and it can only be used once (to protect your privacy). You can have up to 15 active check codes at any given time.
To obtain a code or a printout:
- Go to View Driving Licence.
- Enter your driver number and postcode, as they appear on your driving licence, and your National Insurance number.
- Click on the ‘Share your licence information’ tab – then the ‘Create a code’ button.
- You will now be shown a code that you can pass on to your hire company. You’ll also have the option to print out your licence information.
This is shown in detail in this guide.
If you cannot get a code online then you can call DVLA on 0300 083 0013. You’ll need to answer some security questions to validate your identity before we give you a code.
This video explains the changes and how to obtain a code or printout.
Information for vehicle hire companies
If your company decides that you need to check a driver’s full details the best way to do this is to ask your customers to bring a DVLA check code with them. This code is valid for 21 days from the date it was created. It can only be used once, to protect the driver’s privacy.
An alternative is to ask your customers to bring a printout of their driving licence details with them – but not all customers will be able to do this because it requires access to a computer and a printer. You should also remember that a printout is only up-to-date at the time it is printed.
If a customer arrives without a code or a printout they can call DVLA on 0300 790 6801 and leave permission for their driving record to be checked verbally by a nominated hire company. You 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.
Checking a driver’s record online with a code
You can check a driver’s record online at check someone’s driving licence information.
For further information on how to use this service see our step by step guide.