As of this week, the UK counterpart driving licence has now been abolished. All new UK driving licences will now be photo card only, and supported by an online driving licence system known as MyLicence.

Here are a few basic facts you need to know about the changes:

1. According to DVLA advice, you should now destroy your old paper counterpart licence as it has no validity. However, this does NOT apply to “old style” paper-only licences (issued prior to 1998, according to Auto Express). These are not the same as counterparts and should be retained.

2. If plan to hire a car abroad, there’s a chance that the hire firm won’t yet have heard about the changes. The correct procedure now is to obtain a code from the DVLA website that will allow hire firms to view your driving record. As we reported in April, in advance of these changes, some confusion is expected in this regard and one strategy is to retain your (now invalid) counterpart just in case – whether you do this is up to you, but it’s worth noting that it’s against DVLA advice.

The official DVLA guide to this issue is available here.

3. Car insurance firms will now be able to access your driving record via the online system. This will allow them to quote accurately and (thankfully) prevent people from failing to declare points on their licences.

4. If you move house, you can change your address online.

5. While the older paper licences still remain valid, you will now need to exchange them for a photo card licence should you need to amend any details.


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