Motorists unable to access licence online

Following the abolition of the driving licence paper counterpart yesterday, more than 1.75 million motorists could struggle to access their driving licence online.

This is due to teething problems with the new system introduced by the DVLA for drivers to access or share their driving licence information.

Based on figures from leading licence checking and monitoring company LICENCECHECK, 3.8% of drivers record requests, between April 2014 and March 2015, were initially blocked from accessing the DVLA driver record, many of which may have been for security reasons.

‘Security or withheld record issues have existed for some time and they are unlikely to go away. We see this every day when we’re checking licences on behalf of our clients,’ commented Richard Brown, managing director of LICENCECHECK.

‘A significant number of the licence checks we attempt are declined, which can be down to a number of reasons. So-called ‘stop-markers’ include an ongoing open case, an investigation on the record taking place, DVLA awaiting a response from the driver and sensitive issues. It could also be that a police investigation is underway regarding the driver/licence, or a driver has failed to submit their licence after receiving an endorsement and their entitlement is revoked.’

Richard continued, ‘If the new service suffers these same restrictions, it’s no wonder that this issue is being felt on a much broader scale. Any motorist trying to access their licence online will face the same or similar challenges particularly if the licence holder requires National Security Clearance.

‘We welcome the abolition of the counterpart, which will ensure no-one can get away with false documents again,’ said Richard. ‘But it seems to have been rushed and there are plenty of teething problems – many people haven’t been able to access the system since it launched yesterday.’

He added, ‘If a huge number of drivers are blocked from accessing or sharing their information the situation will not go away and will be likely to cause chaos, particularly as car hire companies begin their busiest months of the year as the summer holiday season hits.’