The driving licence paper counterpart has now been scrapped

As of today, 8th June 2015, the paper counterpart to the photo card driving licence is no longer valid. This means that all additional information about your licence is now stored electronically, it is hoped it will reduce red tape and costs for motorists.

All You Need To Know About the Driving Licence Changes

Is there going to be a replacement?

You will not be sent any replacement. Everything you need will now be available online. You are able to generate a check code if you need to share your information with employers or car hire companies etc.

This can be found by logging on to

Do I need to keep my old paper counterpart?

As of today, the DVLA has said the paper counterpart has no legal status and so can be destroyed, however there is no harm in keeping your paper counterpart for your information, it may also be worth checking what information your employer requires. You do still need to keep your photo card licence.

What happens if I get penalty points on my license?

From today, any new penalty points will only be recorded electronically, they will never appear written or printed on your photo card.

When an offence is committed fines will still have to be paid and your licence submitted to the court, but the handling of paperwork will be different:

Photo card licences (post 1998): the court will keep the paper counterpart to your licence and return your photo card only.

Paper licences (pre 1998): the court will return it to you but will not write or print any offence details on it

How can I find my licence details online?

If you visit you can view your licence details and create a check code. To access this information you will need your licence number, national insurance number and the postcode on your licence.

Or you can apply for licence details by post via the Driving Licence service page.

Will this mean any changes to the theory or driving test?

You will now only need to take your photo card licence, or your old paper licence with you when you go for the theory or driving test.

Why is this change taking place?

As a part of the governments Red Tape Challenge, essentially it is trying to reduce unnecessary red tape and costs. Last year the DVLA replaced 445,000 lost paper counterparts, this costs the driver £20 each to cover the costs.

What if I only have a paper license?

Any paper license issued before 1998 when the photo card was introduced will remain valid and shouldn't be destroyed.

If you do update any of your personal information you will be issued with a photo card only.