Frequently Asked Questions
Please click on the relevant section below and then click on the questions to see the answers in regards to frequently asked questions about driving licence checking.
The DVLA Share Driver Licence service is free. Why should I pay for LICENCECHECK?[+]
The DVLA service may suit the needs of those running a small fleet perfectly well. But for those running larger fleets, what may ostensibly appear “free” will in fact have hidden costs. For example each and every time a check is to be performed, the driver will have to log on to the DVLA Website in order to generate a one-off security code that has to be passed to the employer. The employer then has to log on themselves and use the code to visually inspect the results or print them off. The results will typically need to be typed into another database or Excel spreadsheet, and updated each and every time. There will be no reminders, prompts, notice of pending expirations, warnings and no automatic re-checking.
So someone will have to check on a regular basis and take necessary action as well as maintaining and updating the central database or Excel sheets. With a non-automated system, errors and failures happen. Checks can be accidentally missed and delays due to holidays or sickness may mean that Share Codes expire and the process has to start again.
Then there’s the challenge of producing reports for senior management. Data will have to be copied or exported, sorted, duplicated and provided to senior managers. Any changes will typically involve cutting and pasting and as such are prone to error.
When the time taken to interrogate the DVLA service for each check and clerical and administrative time is factored in, the cost of using a secure, automated and intuitive service with full reporting facilities may not actually be that different: it might be a lot cheaper.
What are the differences between LICENCECHECK and the DVLA Share Driver Licence service?[+]
There are a number of important differences between the two services. These are explained in the table below:-
|DVLA Share My Licence Service||LICENCECHECK Service|
|Share My Licence is a single one-off check that requires a special code to be supplied by the employee. The code has to be used within 21 days and cannot be reused.||LICENCECHECK requires the employee to either sign a data protection mandate or to give e-consent. This lasts for 3 years and allows multiple checks as and when required by the employer/agency without the need to seek further permission each time.|
|Share My Licence requires the driver to use the View My Licence service in order to generate the code for Share My Licence. New security will be added to this service in the future to ensure that (a) it cannot be used by employers and (b) the National Insurance Number is no longer used for identification. The new ID requirements may also affect the number of drivers who can use the Share My Licence service because of the added security.||Whilst there is a requirement for the Driver to
provide consent, this requirement need only be observed every 3 years. Consent is implied thereafter until the employee ceases to drive for their employer or formally withdraws their consent.
|Because the DVLA service is a one-off check
there are no management or reporting tools provided.
|LICENCECHECK provides immediate action
notifications to managers, allows drivers to be risk profiled (profile set by the client) and the frequency of automatic re-check set according to this profile.
|There is no overall reporting or summary information provided across the fleet/workforce by way of management information.||LICENCECHECK allows information to be aggregated to provide reports across the workforce for insurance and compliance purposes. This will in turn allow organisations to seek better rates from insurers when new legislation comes into force in 2016.|
|Northern Ireland driving licence enquiries are not supported by the DVLA and will not be supported in the future. Northern Ireland is a separate service.||We have a manual checking service for Northern Ireland (currently the only service available). We will offer an online service when this is made available by DVA NI.|
|Vocational licence information in the form of CPC and Tacho information is not supported by the DVLA service at the moment.||LICENCECHECK allows this information to be
entered by the client and thereafter it can be reported along with the driving licence entitlement data.
|DVLA have a premium rate telephone line to a call centre available during office hours for enquiries with driver consent and will take written enquiries.||We do not offer the telephone service without
driver consent, but we will provide a managed service at the request of clients. What we do offer all clients is full support and practical advice and assistance based on a wealth of experience for any driving licence issues.
|The DVLA service is not ISO Security Standard
|The LICENCECHECK service is certified to ISO27001:2013 standard. We also have Cyber Essentials Plus and IASME security certification. Our service is also tested for security weaknesses by an external agency specialising in this work.|
|The DVLA service is single purpose.||LICENCECHECK can be linked in with other services to provide a mix and match solution to address a number of client needs.|
My employees have given me their verbal permission to use the Check My Licence Service or they sit beside their manager when the check is made. This is quick, free and works for my business just fine.[+]
It may be tempting to continue to do this, but this service is intended for individual drivers to check their own driving licence and not for employers. What would you do if a disgruntled employee reports you to the Information Commissioners Office and claims they didn’t give permission? What evidence would you have that you didn’t access their personal data unlawfully? The benefit of using the Share Driver Licence service is that there is an audit trail. By using “Check My Licence” in this way you are risking prosecution and a fine. Even if you don’t have a problem with disaffected employees, you’re going to have to change your procedure at some time in the future when new identity controls are introduced anyway. So this practice has a limited lifespan.
I use a different company to check my fleet drivers. I would like to change, but can’t justify the extra effort required to issue new mandates to all my drivers. It’s simply too much work.[+]
This can be a problem – particularly for larger fleets. There are a couple of possible solutions. One possibility is to use the paperless e-consent process where your drivers can be emailed a request to consent to LICENCECHECK driving licence checks. Drivers can log in to an account to do this from any computer or smart phone with an internet connection. Provided they have an email account and a mobile device that can receive a PIN this is an option worth exploring.
The other way that LICENCECHECK can process large quantities of data is to use a card reader linked to a PC. This compact solution could be sent round to various offices and depots and simply reads the data off the driver’s licence in a few seconds, checks security features in the plastic card, captures the photo likeness and can issue a mandate for signature there and then. It will work with tacho cards, DQ cards and foreign licences as well (although in the latter case we can’t check their record unless they have registered with the DVLA). It’s an effective way of capturing large amounts of data accurately, quickly and conveniently in seconds. You can even hire the card readers from us – so no need to invest in the hardware yourself.
My organisation is particularly concerned with issues of personal data security. Just how secure is your service in terms of protecting employee personal information?[+]
The LICENCECHECK hosted service communicates with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) driver database via a series of secure servers through a dedicated private 1-1 lease line using the DVLA’s Access to Driver Data (ADD) service. So the pipeline between the LICENCECHECK servers and the DVLA is not shared by any other providers for security purposes. The service itself is provided as a secure fully hosted Software as a Service (SaaS) using our own secure servers that are fully owned, managed and maintained by Licence Check Ltd.
The company is accredited to ISO 27001:2013 security standard, which is UKAS certified via Alcumus ISOQAR certificate number 12749. Our systems are annually tested for resistance to cyber penetration and vulnerability by a recognised external third party agency approved by CREST. Our systems are also subject to expert analysis and testing by a third party agency as part of our certification for Cyber Security Plus accreditation. We are the only licence checking agency currently holding this government security standard.
Any employees who directly interact with the LICENCECHECK service in a managerial or technical capacity are subjected to background security checks to Enhanced Baseline Security Standard before being allowed access to the service.
Client accounts will be user name and password protected. Passwords will be required to have a minimum number of characters as well as containing a mix of alpha-numeric characters and symbols. Passwords will need to be renewed by clients every 90 days as a matter of security and cannot be re-used within consecutive cycles. Our personnel will also monitor use of the system with a view to identifying any unauthorized access or attempts to break into the service.
What happens if I want to leave the service?[+]
You are the data controller. You can download your records and take them with you. We will securely delete your account including any archived data and confirm this in writing.
What is service availability like?[+]
The service is intended to be available 24/7/365. However as a cloud-based service, we are dependent on external communications providers for the service infrastructure and need the DVLA Access to Driver Data service to be working in order to retrieve information from the driver record. From time to time we may also need to take the service down in order to upgrade the service, although this will be announced in advance and will usually take place outside office hours when the service tends to be used less. Typically you might expect 99.8% availability in any one month.
Are there automatic email notifications and other methods of highlighting important actions?[+]
Yes. There is an Immediate Actions notification page that will list any urgent or pressing actions that management should take (for example where a licence has expired or a driver is disqualified). Your nominated representatives will be emailed any urgent notifications and at the end of the week a summary report is provided by the service. Our Support Team will also call you to confirm any urgent action that needs to be taken – just to make sure!.
Is there provision for the additional information I need to collect for my vocationally qualified drivers (tacho card information, DQC information etc.).[+]
Yes. This information can be manually entered into the driver record. Unfortunately it is not available from the DVLA as part of the driving licence check – at least for the present time. There is development currently taking place within the DVLA service to provide basic tacho-card and CPC expiration information and numbers, but this has not yet been released. Once the data has been manually keyed to LICENCHECHECK, advance warnings of pending expirations and other notifications will be provided within the service.
Will the service advise me if a drivers’ DVLA record changes between scheduled re-checks.[+]
No. Unfortunately not. The DVLA service is a “pull” rather than a “push” service and the DVLA have made it clear there are no plans to change this. This means that they will only respond to a licence check request that is made to their service and will only provide the information current in the record at that time. The only way that an employer can pick up changes from the DVLA record is by making another request. This makes it all the more important that in your own driver policy documentation or Driver Handbook you stress that drivers notify you of any change in their circumstances and there are sanctions for deliberate failure to do so.
Where a driver has received a Notice of Intended Prosecution or other documentation that suggests that action is pending, this can be uploaded into LICENCECHECK and stored as part of the driver record with a follow up date appended. The same is true of any driver speed awareness courses etc. attended as an alternative to prosecution.
Why does my employer need to check my driving licence?[+]
Your employer has a Duty of Care under the Health & Safety Act to ensure you are entitled to drive the vehicle they have issued. It is an offence for your company to allow you to drive a vehicle whilst unlicensed to do so. It may be a requirement of your company to check the driving licence of each person employed at least once every 12 months to meet the standards of the vehicle insurance policy terms and conditions. It is good working practice and assists your employer in managing road risk.
My company already has a copy of my driving licence?[+]
This may be the case but, unfortunately, this is not classed as an independent verification and therefore your company are unable to establish if the licence presented is a true and accurate record of your licence record as held by the licence authority such as the DVLA. Unfortunately, many people drive without a licence or category to do so. Your company is responsible for your well-being whilst you drive on company business.
What personal details will be provided to my employer that they do not already know?[+]
Maybe nothing more if your company has been visually checking your driving licence. However, if you consent for your licence to be checked using the LICENCECHECK service we will provide your driving licence information as held by the licence authority DVLA. This excludes any medical history but will include as a minimum your licence category entitlements, unspent convictions, penalty points and commencement and expiry dates etc... subject to the data held on record by the relevant licence authority.
Is it the law that I must provide evidence of my driving licence to my employer?[+]
No, but without independent verification your employer is unable to check the validity of the licence you have presented and may wish to restrict your role to non-driving duties if they are unable to validate it. It is also your company's responsibility to ensure you are licensed to drive the vehicle they have issued, hired, or allowed you to drive on company business even if you use your own private vehicle.
The company has requested that I give written consent using a form produced by LICENCECHECK allowing the licence authority (DVLA or DVANI) to release my licence record in order for my company to verify my driving licence credentials. Can I refuse to give my consent and not sign it?[+]
Yes, your explicit consent is required as your personal details are covered under the Data Protection Act. Each licence authority will require proof that consent has been granted and it is at your sole discretion whether you provide consent or not.
Can my employer discipline me for not providing consent?[+]
No, as your information is personal to you. No action can be taken under the current law if consent is not given. However, without independent verification, your employer is unable to check the validity of the licence and so they may wish to restrict your role to non-driving duties.
Why has my company never asked me for consent in this way before?[+]
Simply, the licence authorities did not offer an electronic verification facility until late 2008.
Can the driving licence consent be included with contract of employment?[+]
No, because voluntary consent must be given and withdrawal of consent can be requested at any time. It may also be construed that if inclusion was presented and you refused to give specific consent you may disadvantage yourself or feel compelled to provide consent under fear of losing out in some way.
If I provide consent how long does consent last?[+]
Consent is granted for 3 years from the date of the driver mandate signature, therefore your company can request a check on your licence record at any time or at a frequency as they feel fit.
When is my personal data transferred or sent to LICENCECHECK?[+]
If your company elects to use our web-hosted service, your personal data will be passed to LICENCECHECK the time your data is entered. LICENCECHECK is classed as the Processor, this is a legal and acceptable way of populating a database to create a driver record, which in turn allows the creation of a driver mandate.
What happens once I have given consent for my licence record to be checked?[+]
You or your employer will return either a copy or the original driver mandate to LICENCECHECK. On receipt the licence verification will commence.
What happens to the consent form once I have signed it?[+]
Either your employer or LICENCECHECK will store this driver mandate document securely for a period of 6 years plus the current year. The ICO Data Commissionaire and/or Licence Authority set these rules.
Who has access to the driver mandate and the results once they have been obtained from the Licence Authority?[+]
Your company will nominate the person(s) who will have access to the driver mandate and driver record information. A copy of your driver mandate will be returned to LICENCECHECK. If the original driver mandate has not been returned to LICENCECHECK this will be kept by your employer for 6 years plus the current remaining months of that year and agree to hold it in a secure manner in line with the Data Protection Act. LICENCECHECK also restrict the number of person(s) that have access to your driver mandate or electronic records. The driver mandate will be kept in a secure environment, with restrictive access to a limited number of employed and security checked staff. The original driver mandate will be kept until the date of expiry (3 years); thereafter LICENCECHECK will either elect to keep the document in its original condition or opt to take an electronic image of the document. These records will be electronically archived for a further 3 years plus the remaining months of that year for audit purposes only.
Is there an alternative process to the paper mandate?[+]
Yes, instead of using the paper mandate process, you can now use the E-Consent method which has been introduced into our licence checking system. This is all done electronically online and saves you the burden of having to chase employees for a wet signature. The employee requires access to an email address and mobile telephone. After requesting consent, they are then sent an invitation email containing a unique web link. Within this link all they need to do is complete the validation process by entering their personal details and at the click of a button, grant consent. Upon employees granting consent, licence data is viewable immediately within your secure online portal.
How is my personal information stored?[+]
Your electronic data is stored on our own server, hosted and maintained by LICENCECHECK at our head office in Derby. Your data is only accessible by a limited number of individuals nominated by your company, each of whom have a unique user name and password to access the LICENCECHECK DLVS System data. Each person registered must agree to a statement and disclaimer each and every time they access the database.