Foreign Car Hire Requirements – Licence


You may or may not be aware but the DVLA are changing driving licences (again). It may seem recent but it’s over 15 years since the plastic card and counterpart system was introduced. You remember the counterpart? That paper bit that’s always filed aware safely in the place you can never find!

Anyway, it’s going. The counterpart paper section that is. Nothing is changing on the plastic side of things and from the 8th June 2015 the counterpart is redundant, instead being replaced with an online check of your endorsements etc. Whilst this makes perfect sense in the modern world, it does mean you need to do some forward planning. Ideally. If you’re travelling abroad, or even hiring a car in the UK you usually need to show the counterpart to the hire company for confirmation of your penalty points or endorsements, or lack of. From 8th June instead of this you will need to log on to the DVLA website and use their “Share your licence” feature. It’s currently not working but there is a demonstration video on their website here.

Before you hire a car, log onto the DVLA website and using the ‘Share your licence” feature you can generate a unique, one-time-use code and also print off a summary of your endorsements.

The hire company can then log onto the DVLA website and, using the unique code, check your entitlements. Simple. Well, we hope it is. This should also work abroad but the AA recommend taking the invalid paper counterpart just to give yourself extra cover at the foreign hire desk.

Apparently, something like a third of foreign car hire customers from the UK, usually forget the counterpart anyway and manage to hire without issue but better to be safe than sorry.

About Lee

Photographer, writer, vehicle enthusiast often found behind a lens.

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