Damian James' Blog: 20 November 2009 - Licence to ride?
23 November 2009
Damian James is Head of Transport Provision for Bracknell Forest Council and a technology champion
So I'm just about to send off for my updated photo card driving licence, but why am I worried?
As you may know if you currently have a photo card driving licence it only has a 10 year life when you are obligated to get an updated version. This is mainly due to the fact that over 10 years your face can change and in my case my hairline has receded since 1989.
There is a whole other debate going on about people not being aware their licence is due to expire. This doesn't hold much water with me though because if you have kept your address details up to date with the DVLA you will get a reminder and a form to fill in two months before expiry.
What I am worried about, which has been reported in the fleet press a few times, is the loss of entitlements that sometimes occurs when you send your licence back to the DVLA for renewal. This seems to be particularly centred on people's motorcycle entitlement.
Believe it or not I used to be a biker. Back in 1993 I passed my motorbike test and after I got my licence I bought a 600cc bike followed the next year by a 900cc model. I used to love the freedom, acceleration and thrill of riding a motorbike. However since then I have got married, got a mortgage and had kids which rather limits thrill funding so my motorbike has turned into a rather staid diesel car.
However even though I don't ride now I would be very reluctant to give up my entitlement because subject to a mid-life crisis (some say I'm already there) I may become a born again biker. So the big question is what entitlements are going to be on my driving licence when I get it back.
The advice I have received is to take a colour copy of my current licence so that if some categories don't re-appear on my new licence I have proof of what I should have received.
I will keep you posted on whether I still have a future as two wheeled motorist.