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Driving licences are changing - are you ready?

Most of us remember the exciting day we got our driving licences; the green provisional card replaced by the all-important pink, the slightly awkward photo a minor blemish on an otherwise fantastic milestone moment.

Oh, and there’s that other bit of paper, too.

The boring bit.

Well, it seems like the government agrees, and from June 8th 2015 the paper part of a driving licence will no longer be issued by the DVLA - that’s the one that covers England, Scotland and Wales, but do note that this does not affect Northern Ireland.

Their reasoning is that all the info on your paper licence is online now anyway, or at least, stored in the DVLA’s databases, so the paper counterpart is fairly redundant.

It’s a small change, but there are bound to be some questions from existing licence-holders, so we’ve covered the basics for you here:

What do I do with the paper bit, then?

You can dispose of this. In fact, the DVLA is recommending you destroy it - but keep the photocard, obviously, as that’s now the only legal documentation of your licence that you own.

What if I only have a paper licence?

Older drivers will remember the days before photocards, which only came in in 1998. If you’ve still got your paper-only licence, make sure you keep this, as it will still be legally valid - but the next time you change any information on it, it will be replaced with a photocard.

What if I get a penalty on my licence?

It’s a fair question: If you do have penalty points on your licence, they’ll be recorded electronically in the DVLA database from 8 June 2015.

They won’t be printed on your photocard, but you will still have to submit your licence to the court, and pay any applicable fines, of course. This also applies to older paper-only licences, so after the 8th June, the points record printed on your licence will no longer be considered accurate.

Okay, sounds simple enough. What else do I need to know?

At the moment the paper part of your licence is used for a few miscellaneous things, like hiring or test-driving a car. The DVLA is currently working on a system that will allow relevant businesses to access your licence information online if they need to - but don’t worry, they can only do that with your permission!

Finally

At Kwik Fit Insurance Services HQ, the office chatter about this soon descended into a mass hand-around of everybody’s licence pictures. There’s nothing more entertaining than seeing the trendiest person you know posing in a Hawaiian shirt with an old fashioned haircut, so this got us thinking –

What do your before and after pictures look like?

We’d love to see your old photocards, so if you feel brave enough, why not share it with us on our Facebook wall? (remember to block out any sensitive information)

If you have any other questions or comments about the changing licence laws, you can let us know in the comments below - and don’t forget to mark June 8th on the calendar!

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