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DVLA records of driving offences and how they’re shared

 

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Aim of this information

This information is designed to set out how motoring offences and convictions are recorded by the DVLA and what details are shared with third parties.

We have separate information about how motoring offences and motoring convictions are treated under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.

Why is this important?

Knowing what information an insurance company or an employer is allowed to access and what is likely to be disclosed will ensure that:-

  • You do not provide more information than third parties are entitled to and risk being unfairly discriminated against or
  • You do not fail to disclose something which you are legally required to disclose which may result in the loss of a job, a job offer being revoked or insurance policies becoming invalid.

Introduction

On the 8th June 2015, the DVLA scrapped the paper counterparts for driving licences and issued photo card licences only.

The DVLA advises that:-

  • If you hold a paper counterpart, then it no longer has any legal status and should be destroyed. You only need to keep the photo card driving licence.
  • Paper licences issued before photo cards were introduced in 1998 will remain valid and should not be destroyed.

Any new penalty points (endorsements) issued from the 8th June 2015 will be recorded electronically only. This information will be held on your DVLA driver record and can be viewed online via the DVLA’s Shared Driving Licence Service.

How can I access details of my driving record?

The DVLA’s Shared Driving Licence service will continue to hold information for the same length of time as paper licences did. The length of time a motoring offence stays on your licence is governed by road traffic legislation and will generally be either 4 or 11 years. This is entirely separate to the time it takes for motoring convictions to become spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.

You can use the DVLA Shared Driving Licence Service to:-

  • View your driving record, e.g. which vehicles you can drive
  • Check any penalty points or disqualifications you have
  • Create a licence ‘check code’ to share your driving record with a third party, i.e. a car hire company or employer.

How can third parties access details of my driving record?

Employers

If your employer asks you to provide evidence of your driving record (for example, because you drive as part of your job or you will have access to a company car) then it is possible for you to share your driving record by accessing the DVLA Shared Driving Licence Service.

Once you have accessed the DVLA site, it is possible to generate a ‘check code’ which you can then pass on to the person or organisation that needs to view your driving licence details. The code lasts for up to 21 days and you can have up to 15 active check codes at any one time. Alternatively, there are other ways codes can be generated.

Based on our understanding, it seems like your employer will not be able to see details of any offences or endorsements where the motoring conviction the offence relates to has become spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.

For this reason, it is important that if you have motoring convictions still on your driver record but these are technically spent, that you provide the employer with a ‘code’ to enable them to check your driving record (which should remove the spent convictions) rather than you print a copy of your driving record and give it to them (which will might have the spent convictions on there due to DVLA retention periods).

Car hire companies

You should check with individual car hire companies about what information they require. If you are asked for evidence of what vehicles you can drive or confirmation of any penalty points then you can generate a ‘check code’ from the DVLA Shared Driving Licence Service which you can pass onto the hire company. As above, it seems like this will remove details of any offences or endorsements where the motoring conviction the offence relates to has become spent.   

Generating ‘check codes’

When generating ‘check codes’, you will be given the option to download a summary of your driving licence record which can be printed off and given to employers or car hire companies. We wouldn’t recommend this option as you will be printing your full record and potentially disclosing spent as well as unspent motoring convictions to employers and car hire companies.

Insurance companies

During 2015 many insurance companies rolled out MyLicence (the brand name for the Insurance Industry Access to Driver Data database) which provides details of:-

  • Type of licence held
  • Length of time the licence has been held
  • Entitlements to drive
  • Penalty points
  • Convictions and conviction dates
  • Disqualifications

It is not currently used by all insurers, brokers or price comparison websites but those who do use it will ask you to provide them with your driving licence number and the driving licence number for all named drivers. This information is used to immediately check details with the DVLA driver database.

MyLicence will not share the details of spent convictions, even if they remain on your driving record.

What does this mean for people with motoring convictions?

  • The DVLA Shared Driving Licence service will continue to hold information for the same time as paper licences and in accordance with road traffic legislation. However, convictions which are spent under the ROA should not be disclosed to employers and car hire companies through the ‘check codes’ process.
  • If you’ve got motoring convictions on your record, it’s more likely that you’ll get found out if you don’t disclose them when required to do so, particularly if the conviction is unspent and you’re applying for insurance as many insurance companies and brokers may ask your permission to access your driver records from the MyLicence site.
  • It’s important to remember that you do not need to disclose spent convictions to an insurer, even if they remain on your driving record.

What next?

Unlock are working with the DVLA to ensure that they do not share the details of spent convictions.

To help us with this, we’re particularly keen to hear from anybody who has convictions for drink or drug driving, where the offences are recorded by the DVLA for 11 years. Are these still available on your DVLA Shared Licence record once they are spent? How has this caused you a problem?

For more information

  1. Practical self-help information – More information on motoring convictions and the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 can be found here.
  2. Discuss the issue – Read and share your experiences on our online forum.

Get involved

  1. Comment on this information (below)
  2. Send your feedback directly to us.
  3. Discuss your views and experiences with others on our online peer forum

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Debbie Sadler
Helpline lead

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