Driving licence paper counterpart changes from 8th June 2015

What’s happening to the driving licence paper counterpart on the 8th June 2015?


From 8th June, the DVLA is abolishing the driving licence paper counterpart.


For drivers in England, Scotland and Wales, this means the following changes:

  1. The DVLA will no longer issue paper counterparts alongside photocard licences.
  2. If you already have a photocard driving licence, the paper counterpart will now be obsolete.
Driving Licence Counterpart Changes to Online Check Licence Portal

How do I check my latest driving licence information after 8th June?

After the paper counterpart has been abolished on 8th June, you can check your latest driving licence details using a new DVLA online service called View Driving Licence (VDL). To access your driving licence details you will need your driving licence number, National Insurance number and postcode.

The VDL service lets you view and download details like the status of your licence, when your licence will expire, what vehicles you are allowed to drive and any offences or penalty points.

How do I share my driving licence information to companies now that the paper counterpart has been abolished?

Employers and car hire companies, among others, historically have used a driving licence paper counterpart to see penalty points and other details as part of their vetting processes.

The DVLA has developed a digital alternative for these companies to view and check driver licence details. This online licence checking service is called Share Driving Licence (SDL). The SDL service provides a real-time snapshot of an individual’s driving licence data but only with consent from the licence holder in the form of an access code.

To give a company consent to access your licence information, you can generate a one-time-use licence check code. This can be done from the “Share your Licence” tab within the DVLA’s View Driving Licence service. To keep licence data safe, a check code is valid for only 21 days* and can only be used once.

Is there any reason to keep my paper counterpart after 8th June?

We’d recommend keeping it for the short-term. That’s not the official DVLA recommendation but we take the approach of better safe than sorry.

There is a lot of industry chatter saying that not all companies will be ready for this digital change because the DVLA's new Share Driving Licence system only went live a matter of days ago. We don’t think there’s any harm in keeping hold of your counterpart in the short-term until industry processes settle down to this abrupt change.

That being said, if you do shred your paper counterpart in haste, companies can always simply call the DVLA for a licence check.

I don’t have a photocard licence. Do I destroy my old style paper licence?

No! If your licence is the old style which is paper-only (issued pre-1999) then you should keep your paper licence as your official form of documentation.

If you do want to upgrade to a photocard licence, you can online at www.gov.uk/exchange-paper-driving-licence but this is by no means necessary if your details are up to date.

My driving licence paper counterpart had a change of address slip – how do I change my address after 8th June?

You can update your driving licence’s address online at www.gov.uk/change-address-driving-licence


For more information on the new DVLA online services and their uses, visit the www.gov.uk website.

* On 10th July 2015, the DVLA officially extended the check code validity period from 72 hours to 21 days.