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BVRLA fears over licence checking

Date: 10 January 2014   |   Author:

The BVRLA has expressed concern over Government moves to take driver licence checking online ahead of potentially terminating the paper counterpart next year.

As part of a move to become the "most digital government" of the G8 collection of powerful nations, the Government is moving several interactions online, including driver licence records.

That would mean drivers can call up their own records, as could insurance companies, which has the potential to lead to lower bills because the insurance firms will be sure that drivers have revealed an accurate penalty points total.

Drivers, however, will have to register individually, so the scheme appears to be optional for the foreseeable future. A second phase, according to the Government, would be to give access to car hire companies.

However, the Cabinet Office, the Goverment department behind the process, wasn't able to expand on how access would work for fleet operators checking an employee's licence if the counterpart is disbanded.

Last year, a DVLA representative told the ACFO London East meeting that free online checking for fleets could be part of the programme.

The BVRLA is concerned that, rather than cutting costs and making life easier for rental firms, this move could have the opposite effect.

"We have been given no evidence to suggest that these steps will help bring down the cost of car hire," said Nora Leggett, BVRLA head of member services.

"The majority of rental bookings are approved very quickly and at no cost by checking the driver endorsement and qualification information contained on the driver licence counterpart. When that is not available, rental companies rely on the DVLA's expensive telephone-based system to access driver information."

The system is set to go live in June.