Motorists are being warned to be aware of changes taking effect today, (June 8) as the paper counterpart for the driving licence is scrapped.
The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) fears many motorists are still confused or unaware of the implications of the paper counterpart no longer having any legal status.
The paper counterpart was introduced alongside the photo card driving licence in 1998 to include details that could not be included on the card itself, such as any endorsements and which category of vehicles people are entitled to drive.
However, from next month, this information will be stored electronically and not be shown on any written documentation drivers will have.
These details can be only be obtained via the DVLA driver record system and be checked online or in writing by post.
As of today, the paper counterpart, or an old-style paper driving licence, cannot be relied upon to carry correct or up-to-date information about endorsements or categories of vehicle someone can drive.
What is also changing is the court procedure if motorists have to surrender their driving licence in the event of an endorsement.
The court will take the photocard and if drivers include the paper counterpart with their submission, the photocard will be returned to them but the counterpart will not.
However, drivers will be expected to pay their fine in the normal way.
Another change is how to provide proof of your driving record to an employer or car hire firm, as the photocard or paper licence will not be enough in itself any more.
Drivers will be expected to access the details themselves and print those off for submission to a car hire firm or employer.
Or they can call the DVLA and give a third party permission to check their driving record verbally.
If drivers are hiring a vehicle, it is important to check with the car hire firm beforehand what information they need.
Motorists can also obtain a special code from www.gov.uk which allows the hire firm access to your record for 72 hours to make the necessary checks.
Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer, said: “People are not aware of how many of the current procedures are changing. The onus is very much on the individual to obtain the information they need beforehand.
“So we very much hope people will not be caught unawares, especially if they don’t want a nasty surprise when arriving to collect their car at the start of their holiday.”
Visit www.gov.uk for more information on the changes.