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  • Driver's Licences are set to go digital

    Digital Driver's Licence

    Licence checks are set to become even easier in 2018 for Fleet Managers and businesses in general. The DVLA released plans earlier in the year to completely digitalise licence checks with the introduction of smartphone checks on driver’s licences.  A digital representation of licences will be available and ready to share with third parties such as employers and car hire companies.

    As part of the DVLA’s current online system this will go one step further to making licence checks even easier and streamlines both licencing and driver testing. The DVLA are aiming to maximise the use of technology available by developing a beta service by September this year where drivers will be in control of their own data via a secure website.
    The new service aims to be available 24/7 whenever a web connection is available. However, it will still not replace the full driving licence card. Licence holders will need to have authenticated themselves on GOV.UK.

    Licence holders will be able to store their driving licence on their smartphones for easy access, making licence checking much more straightforward for Fleet Managers and Business Managers alike.

    The only issue to overcome may be that drivers will need to be reassured of safety and concerns regarding possible fraud abuse. It will still be necessary for drivers to carry their physical copy of their driver’s licence on their person, but the online checking system will improve the ability to check information at the drop of a hat.

    Implications of not checking driver’s licences regularly

    It goes without saying that Fleets should take a proactive approach to regularly checking employee’s driver licences to continually re-evaluate their suitability for driving on behalf of the business. Checking driver’s licences also forms part of a company’s Duty of Care obligations.

    The Licence Bureau recommends that licence checks are carried out every three months to be able to build the most up-to-date picture of an employee’s driving record. Those employees that have been identified as high risk should be checked more regularly. Frequent driver licence checking should form part of a company’s overall risk assessment.

    Real time licence checking allows for a fleet to see an overall picture of endorsements, points on a licence and any potential problems that may arise in the future. Identifying any possible hazards early on and throughout their employment will ensure that any compromises on the motor fleet’s insurance policy are identified and important employment decisions can be made on the full facts of a driver’s record.

    A failure to act on the full evidence available can result in reputational, legal and financial repercussions should a driver be involved in an incident in the future. The introduction of any easier forms of licence checking will therefore undoubtedly be welcomed by already busy fleet managers who need to manage time consuming management responsibilities.

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