Friday, 28 August 2015

DVLA extends licence check window . . .


DVLA extends licence check window

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The Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has extended the validity of codes generated by its online driving licence information sharing system to 21 days, following complaints from industry that the previous, 72-hour window of validity was not long enough for employers’ checking purposes.

The online system was introduced as a means of recording driving endorsements following the abolition of the paper counterpart licence (pictured, right) in June. It allows drivers to generate a code which can be passed to employers and other parties such as vehicle hire firms, allowing them time-limited access to the driver’s records in order to confirm their eligibility to drive.

As of 10 July, the employer has 21 days from generation of the code to perform the necessary checks before expiration.

Ian Gallagher, the Freight Transport Association’s lead on DVLA, said: “Common sense has prevailed and DVLA has listened to what we have been saying about the new online system not being fit for purpose.

“Allowing employers longer to use the code before it expires is a sensible move. However, we still believe more changes are needed to make the system efficient and effective, such as the ability to check non-GB licences online instead of via an office hours-only phone line. Bulk checking of licences is also an issue that needs to be reviewed.”

FTA, which had long been calling for bulk checking functionality prior to the system’s launch, says that many fleet operators are now using paid-for third-party services, because the DVLA system requires additional time and resources to check each record individually.

Gallagher added: “The scheme was part of the Government’s Red Tape Challenge to reduce legislative burden, but for employers with hundreds or even thousands of drivers it’s a cumbersome and time-consuming process which does the exact opposite.”

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