Share My Driving Licence Code

With the abolition of the driving licence paper counterpart in June 2015, the DVLA introduced a new online service to allow employers to check the driving licence validity and entitlements of their employees and prospective employees. This new service, Share Driving Licence requires the co-operation and participation of the appropriate driver to log into a different part of the DVLA website in order to generate the time limited one-time-use code they must then pass to the employer. The employer on their part must then log into the Share Driving Licence service and enter this code to confirm the validity and status of the employee’s driving licence and view their history in terms of current endorsements and penalty points.

This exercise will need to be repeated for each periodic check.

Merits of the Share Driving Licence Service

  • The service is maintained by the Government and funded by the taxpayer. So it is available “free” to the employer (although bear in mind the time/cost taken to chase up employees, log into the service each time and the time needed to print and file the results or transpose these to a spread sheet or database manually).
  • It provides hard evidence (the unique code) that the employee consented to the check.
  • The service can be accessed from anywhere where there is a web connection.

Demerits of the Share Driving Licence Service

  • It requires action on the employee’s part to generate the code which then has to be provided to the employer. This can cause delays
  • The code has limited period of validity (21 days).
  • The code is single use only.
  • The code can be withdrawn prior to use.
  • There is no data management capability within the service to automatically recheck, warn of pending expirations, profile the driver according to risk, conveniently explain endorsements and restrictions etc.

Employer Using View Driver Licence Service

If the employee is present or gives permission verbally why not use the “View Driving Licence” Service? If the issue is that the driver should give their consent to a search against their record then surely this is good enough?

Although this may be practically convenient and physically feasible given the information on the employee’s personnel records, we would caution against adopting it as a strategy for the following reasons:-

  • Unlike the Share Driver Licence Service there is no physical proof that consent was given. You therefore run the risk of a disgruntled ex-employee subsequently denying that they gave consent and reporting you to the Information Commissioner for breach of the Data Protection Act. You will then have to prove that the information was obtained fairly and lawfully or face a stiff fine. How would you do that? Even getting them to sign a document might not suffice in any defence if it’s not clear enough precisely what they are consenting to and for what purpose.
  • Access will be denied in the future anyway. The DVLA View Driving Licence Service is already testing the service with a drivers having to use this personal credential in the future to access all government services online. Since this credential is personal to the individual, it means that employers will no longer have access to the View Driver Licence Service by using employee driving licence number, NI number and postcode.