What you need to know about car hire without a paper licence

The DVLA has scrapped the use of the paper counterpart traditionally issued as standard with your driving licence. But what does this mean for drivers who hire cars and will the alternative system cause difficulties for drivers? We’ve answered a few questions surrounding the topic to help keep you up to date with the changes.

Why is a paper licence important?

A paper counterpart licence is a supporting document issued with a driving licence to record driving convictions and penalty points. It helps car hire companies to check if a licence is clean before they issue a car to a new customer. Similarly, companies who issue company cars to employees are likely to check a counterpart licence to ensure a new employee has an acceptable driving record.

When will the counterpart licence disappear?

As of the 8th June 2015, we will no longer need to carry or keep a paper licence. The initiative is being launched with the aim of simplifying the collection and logging of points and driving offences. licences distributed after 8th June 2015 will be issued without the paper counterpart.

If your licence was issued before the photo licences were first introduced in 1998, you should still retain your paper counterpart. If you want to be absolutely sure you no longer need yours, check out the government advice which contains all of the information you will need about the changes.

What will the DVLA use instead?

Henceforth, counterpart licences will have no legal status and points that were once printed on the counterpart paper licence will now be stored by the DVLA on an online system. This allows for quick updates to a drivers status without having to resend documentation as evidence. You will be able to access your own record by visiting the GOV.UK website and navigating through their online system.

How can you hire a car with no paper licence?

The DVLA are providing a new 24/7, free service called Share Driving Licence. Share Driving Licence will enable drivers to show the details of their licence to car rental companies and employers. Though the system is still in development at present, the DVLA has confirmed it will be ready and active before 8th June 2015.

The process

  1. Set up View Driving Licence Service through GOV.UK

  2. Click on ‘Share your licence ’.You will be given a code unique code which allows a third party temporary to access your driving history. Alternatively, you can download a summary document and send it to the car hire company

  3. Present the code to the car hire company and they will be able to check your history before you proceed to hire a car

insurance4carhire customer tips

  1. Speak to your car hire company before you travel to check what they will require from you, it may be that you can send the document before you travel

  2. Check out the DVLA website before you go away to set up your individual ‘View Driving Licence’ service

  3. As always, make sure you have the appropriate car hire excess insurance, just in case

Why choose a policy from insurance4carhire?

Excess cover is often offered when you pick up your rental car, but at a high cost - between £9 and £20 per day. A policy from insurance4carhire will cost you from £12.79 per trip or from £46.99 per year* and will cover your excess - up to £6,500 per claim. 

About the author

Adam Summersby - blog author, car hire excess insurance business unit directorThis is a marketing article from insurance4carhire by our car hire excess insurance business unit director, Adam Summersby. Adam is a respected leader with 11 years’ varied experience in niche personal and commercial lines insurance, including caravan, site operators and excess reimbursement, with proficiency in leadership, sales and account management.

Security Icon


Our payment systems are verified by VeriSign.

FAQ Icon


For more information, or to find the answers to frequently asked questions please consult the FAQs.

Help Icon


Haven't been able to find the answer to your question using the FAQs page? Visit our contact us page.

Payment Icon


We accept payment from Amex, Maestro, Mastercard and Visa cards.