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  • How to spot a fake driving licence in the UK

    How to spot a fake driving licence UK

    Knowing how to spot a fake driving licence in the UK is very important. Staff using a fake driving licence or ID is a serious issue for fleet businesses and businesses that require employees to drive for work purposes. Businesses that employ drivers have an important responsibility to ensure that their drivers are legally able to drive in the UK.

    For this reason, all employees driving licences should be thoroughly checked to ensure they are not fake. If you employ a driver that has provided a fake driving licence and they have been involved in an accident while driving a business vehicle, senior management may be criminally liable for any accidents that result in death or serious injury.

    In this article, we look at how to spot a fake driving licence in the UK and what is the key give away when examining a driving licence.

    How to check if a driving licence is fake in the UK

    UK driving licences come with easily identifiable information to check whether a driver licence is fake. The below are useful tips on how to spot a fake driving licence:

    • Incorrect image of the flag
    • Wrong words across the top, for example, ‘National Identification’ or ‘International Driving Permit’
    • The licence is in a different language
    • Plain or simple-patterned background
    • Photograph in the wrong place
    • No signature or an incorrect signature
    • Fake holograms
    • Information in the wrong places

    UK driving licences are made with unique designs that make it difficult to copy and forge. It is not enough now to simply take a copy of the driver's licence without performing thorough checks that show whether the ID is fake or not.

    When running checks on driver’s licence, a real and legitimate UK driver’s licence should contain the following:

    • Driver number
    • A first name, surname, date and place of birth
    • Drivers signature
    • Drivers address
    • Date of licence issue, photo expiry and issuing authority
    • Valid photograph (black and white on newer photocards)
    • Entitlement categories
    • Hologram of a steering wheel over the driver’s photograph which ‘turns’ as you move the card
    • Holographic images on the front
    • Pictograms on the reverse
    • A green/gold steering wheel image on the reverse
    • Information codes
    • Complex pattern as the background

    If you are concerned whether an ID is fake, you can check the driver licence number or ask for a check code from the driver to do a more thorough search online, using the DVLA website.

    Are European licences valid in the UK?

    They are valid, but if you employ drivers that are from the EU living in the UK, they can apply to exchange their original drivers’ licence to a UK one, and they will not need to retake their test. Once complete you can then run the usual checks on the licence to validate that it's real.

    As the UK has recently left the EU, these rules may change. You can check the government website for any updated information and guidelines.

    What are the risks 

    Employing drivers with a fake licence is not only illegal, but it can also ruin your reputation, cause more harm to other road users and make it hard to convict them for any felonies.

    If you employ workers with fake documents, you can be sent to jail for five years and pay an unlimited fine if found guilty of employing someone where their papers were incorrect or false, this is why it’s very important to thoroughly check all of your driver’s licences. Not only will it help stop fraud, but it will also bring up any previous convictions.

    What to do if you come across a fake driver’s licence

    If you ever find a fake licence when running checks on your employees, then you must deal with it correctly.

    You should report it to the police immediately. The person in question may already be driving using the fake licence which could be hazardous for other road users, and it may also mean that they could apply to another company using the same fake ID.

    To protect your business and others, you should secure the fake driver’s licence and hand it over to the police station where they can then investigate it further.

    Other than verifying licence checks with the DVLA, there are other software tools you can use to check for fake driver's licence in the UK. These tools can identify fake documents including driving licences and passports that can protect your business from fraud.

    If an accident occurs and your driver is using a fake driving licence, not only could you be in trouble with the law, but it may also impact your fleet insurance. Following the tips and advice provided above you will be able to spot any fake licences and prevent legal or insurance issues. If you require any further advice, please get in touch. 

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