Mark Bower

Car Hire Champion and creator of moneymaxim.co.uk. Mark is an expert in the Car Hire industry.

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Changes ahead for car hirers as driving licences go computerised

Soon driving convictions will no longer be stored on the paper part of your driving licence - meaning you need to prepare for arrival at the car hire desk. I walk you through it all.

Firstly let me explain the changes that are happening to Driving Licences.

Basically the DVLA are abolishing the paper counterpart of photocard licences (note - not the old paper licences that preceded photocard licences) .

It's the paper part of your licence that holds information that aren't detailed on your photocard licence including driving penalties and provisional vehicle entitlements. Now this data will be held online and after the 8th June 2015 any updates such as new driving penalties will only be recorded online.

Already you can check your own driving licence details on the DVLA website.

However, this will give car hire companies an additional challenge as they will no longer be able to glance at the paper part of your licence and see that you are OK to rent a car to.

Instead they will need to go online and check your record through the internet.

But first you must authorise them to do so, otherwise any Tom, Dick or Harry could be looking at your driving record.

To authorise them you will need to log on to the DVLA's "Share Driving Licence" service, pop in your driving licence number and national insurance number and get an authorisation code which you can then give to the rental firm.

At that time you can also print off a summary of your driving history . I really recommend doing this as in reality I think rental firms will accept this print out rather than holding you up at the desk checking your record.

If you still have an old style paper licence (those issued prior to 1998) rather than a photocard licence, you will need to follow the same process as any endorsements recorded after the 8th June will only be held online meaning what is written on your old paper licence may be out of date.

Now currently the guidance we are being given is that the one-time use passcode is only valid for 72 hours so you need to think about this just before you rent your car.

I am putting a reminder into my phone to prompt me before I travel this Summer - but I guess it won't be long before it slips my mind and I am left to logging on through a dodgy internet connection abroad on my phone. To make sure I am OK if I need to go down that route I have also made a note on my phone of my national insurance number so its always to hand!

At the moment the full "Share Driving Licence" service is not live, but in the meantime have a look at the following video the DVLA have produced.