In the U.K. there are over 40 million people* with a full driver’s licence. Many of them drive for a living or as part of their working day. Employers have a duty of care to ensure their employees are competent to drive and this will start with simple checks on their licences. The question is though, how do you know that the licence you are checking as an employer is legal, full, accurate and up-to-date?
There is a concern that fleet operators may be misled by drivers whose paper licences aren’t showing correct up-to-date endorsements and that drivers may even intentionally keep a ‘clean’ duplicate drivers licence in order to keep their driving job.
Historically some driving licence cheats have taken advantage of the DVLA’s leniency regarding the time available to hand over their licence for point endorsements to be added. Until December 2010, drivers given points for an offence had 12 months to submit their licence to the DVLA. Therefore drivers could be driving round for up to a year with their licence showing the incorrect penalty points, or even with enough points to lose their licence! Police officers have the right to seize vehicles driven by individuals who’ve had their licence revoked, therefore fleet operators could potentially see their vehicles seized as an unlicenced driver is also an uninsured driver.
The good news for fleet operators is a new interpretation of the law, by the DVLA, means drivers now have only 28 days to hand over their licence or face the threat of it being revoked.
To combat the threat of drivers who keep a ‘clean’ duplicate licence you can now use an external checking company that has direct access to the DVLA so you can understand the true status of your employees’ licences. These checks will inform you if a licence exists, that it is full, any points and in particular points for certain offences such as drink driving. They can also interpret international drivers’ licences so you know the status of migrant workers’ licences.
To help protect your business and your employees put in place processes to regularly check your drivers’ licences.
* Source Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government
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