Paper counterpart driving licence obsolete in June

The paper counterpart to UK driving licences will be scrapped on 8 June as records move online.

The counterpart was introduced to display driving licence details that could not be included on the photocard such as vehicle categories you can drive and any endorsement/penalty points you have.

But from 8 June, any new penalty points you get will be recorded electronically, and will not be printed or written on either photocard licences or paper driving licences.

What do you need to do?

  • Drivers with both parts need to keep the photocard and destroy the paper counterpart after 8 June
  • Motorists with a paper only licence (issued before the photocard was introduced in 1998) should not destroy them as they will still be valid
  • The next time you update your personal details or renew your licence, you will be issued with a photocard only
  • Entitlements, penalty points and the status of your driving licence won't change

Checking your driving record

In 2014 the DVLA launched their free, 24-hour View Driving Licence service which allows you to check what vehicles you can drive and any endorsements (penalty points) you may have.

UK driving licence history

Old London
Diamond Extras

© instagram/Charles01

  • The first mandatory licence requirement for driving was introduced in the Motor Car Act 1903
  • The minimum qualifying age was 17
  • The licence gave its holder 'freedom of the road' with a 20mph maximum speed limit
  • The fee for the first driving licence, which was obtained over the counter at Post Offices, was 5 shillings (25p)
  • Compulsory testing was brought in on 1st June 1935 for all drivers and riders who started driving on or after 1st April 1934
  • Photocard licences were introduced in 1998
  • Unlike the old paper licences, photocard licences have to be updated every 10 years

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