This will affect employers who recruit or continue to employ staff subject to the condition that they have a valid driving licence. In such cases the employer should ensure that it carries out sufficient checks to verify the accuracy of the information provided at the recruitment stage. It should also require an employee to report any material changes after the employee is recruited which affects their ability to drive. It would not be unreasonable for an employer to request such employees to allow the employer to verify the accuracy of such information if and when that was deemed appropriate during employment.
The changes in procedure will also affect employees who hire cars on company business.
Despite publicity, it is clear that many employers and employees are unaware of the new procedures.
Employers who require employees to have a valid driving licence will require to be familiar with the new licence checking process which the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has introduced.
The new process works as follows. A specific code can be obtained from the DVLA by a driver who wants to allow a third party such as an employer or car hire company to check the driver's details. The driver can obtain the code by applying online and providing their postcode, driving licence and national insurance numbers here, or by calling the DVLA on 0300 083 0013. This "Share Driving Licence" service allows drivers to access their current driving licence information and they can opt to share such information with another person. The check code should be passed to the employer or organisation who will require this to view the driver's licence information. They will also require the last 8 characters of the driver's licence number. This information should be inputted here. Alternatively, an employee can call the DVLA on 0300 790 6801 in advance, and leave verbal permission for a nominated person or organisation to check their driving licence. Each single-use code issued will be valid for only 72 hours. There is step-by-step guidance available on the DVLA website.
Another practical option would be for the employee to agree to access the information online in the presence of the employer (say HR) and for the employee's current driving record to be copied at that time by the employer. This would avoid the employee having to provide the employer with a code from the DVLA . However this would not work where the employee was hiring a car on business from a car rental company.
Old style paper driving licences issued before the photo card was introduced in 1998 will still be valid and should not be destroyed.
Press attention has focused on overseas car hire companies and how they will check motorists' licences before renting them a car during their summer holiday.
However, employers and employees should not overlook the fact that the new online checking system may be relevant in the work environment where the holding of a valid licence is an essential condition of employment or for car hire purposes. Some employers' car policies may need updated to reflect these changes.