Keeping a paper trail?

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Published: Sunday 21st June 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (1)

As the paper part of the driving licence comes to the end of its life, now is the time to get your car’s documents in order

The Government is calling time on the paper section of the driving licence. From now on, all of the details that were once noted on the paper section will be held electronically and drivers will be able to access them online.

This move also means drivers will need to go online before hiring a car as they need to download a form with a unique authorisation code to show a car rental firm. This code allows the hire company to access your driving details to make sure you are entitled to drive their car.

The aim of this move is to reduce the cost of producing and sending out paper licences in addition to the plastic credit card-type of licence. It will also try to reduce identity crime as the driver will need his or her driving number, home postcode and National Insurance number to access the driver information.

However, some are worried this new scheme could lead to the chaos that many drivers experienced in the wake of the paper tax disc being phased out in 2014. There was a 60% rise in the number of drivers being fined for not having up to date road tax, or Vehicle Excise Duty to give it the formal name.

Drivers say this is because they did not receive any notice their road tax was due to for renewal and the first they knew about it was notification of a fine. In some cases, the fine was as much as £800, while others had their vehicle towed away on the orders of the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency).

As you can now no longer buy a car with road tax or sell one with the remainder of the tax left to run, it is up to every new owner to ensure the car is properly taxed. It is also the driver’s responsibility to make sure their car’s road tax, insurance and MoT are renewed and up to date.

All of this means you need to make sure your car’s documents are in order, even if they are electronic documents rather than the good old-fashioned paper ones we’ve been used to for decades.

When you buy a car, new or used, you will have to arrange road tax. This lasts for 12 months, so it’s a good idea to make a note in your diary, on the calendar or even in your smartphone for the following year to renew it.

Likewise, it makes sense to note when your car’s MoT test is due rather than relying on memory. By marking it in a diary or calendar, you will avoid the potential trouble of being fined for driving without and MoT or tax, which can both result in penalty points on your driving licence.

Most insurance companies will send out a reminder when your cover is due to end. Even so, it’s worth noting this anniversary so you can shop around in advance to get the best deal rather than just accept the renewal quote because you’ll otherwise be without insurance.

Lastly, when travelling abroad, check your insurance covers you for foreign trips. It’s also worth arranging breakdown cover for the countries you will be visiting. If you don’t, you could find yourself drowning in an even deeper sea of paperwork.

Copyright Press Association 2015

Published: Sunday 21st June 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (1)
  • Kevin Marshall

    And all this is in favour of the general public? I think not.The gov. are very happy for you to forget renew dates,as it’s them with their hand in your pocket.Another stealth tax,

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