15 December 2011
AA welcomes proposal to drop photo driving licence paper counterpart
Frustration for travellers who forget the paper counterpart of their driving licence when hiring a car will end with the purge of red tape announced by the Government today, the AA says.
Since 1998, the contradiction of a photocard driving licence that needed a paper record to validate it has caught out hundreds of thousands of car hire customers who turned up at the desk without both parts. For those needing to hire in an emergency, checking their driver’s record incurred a premium-rate phone charge.
Overall, the AA welcomes Government attempts to cut red tape, although some aspects raise concerns for the future, particularly with parking fines.
Edmund King, the AA’s president, says: “Lifting some burdens for many drivers is very welcome news, especially those that seem overly bureaucratic like having to register your car off road (SORN) each year even if it’s a long-term re-build project.
We will work with DVLA to ensure drivers are able to easily and freely access their record once the counterpart goes in 2015
Edmund King, AA president
“The proposal to drop the photo driving licence paper counterpart is something we have called for some time as drivers think it is ironic to receive a nice easy-to-carry plastic card licence only to then find they have to carry a sheet of A4 paper detail around with it – we will work with DVLA to ensure drivers are able to easily and freely access their record once the counterpart goes in 2015.
“With electronic databases now in place we also understand the thinking behind relaxing insurance checking rules when drivers re-tax their cars but we will be studying the forthcoming consultation just to ensure this will not lead to more uninsured drivers being on the road – we will also take a closer look at the proposals regarding vehicle registration documents.“
King adds: “Perhaps the only sting in the tail is the proposed deregulation of parking penalty charge levels. This will leave local authorities free to set levels they choose which, given their current financial circumstances, presents drivers with the worry of significant hikes. This contradicts the spirit of the Red Tape Challenge’ - ‘making life easier for drivers’.
“We are also disappointed that an announcement about the MOT test period review has not accompanied today’s announcement as drivers and the motor trade have been left speculating for some time and there are genuine concerns about the safety implications of any change”.
(updated 31 January 2012)