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Your working hours as a professional driver are very closely regulated and you must stick to the legally defined hours you are allowed to work. This is because driver tiredness can kill. Not only the driver, but also other road users too, so it’s vital that drivers have enough rest between driving shifts.  To track drivers’ hours better, you will now be issued with a digital drivers’ card which you should carry with you at all times and produce when asked.

This card works together with your tachograph to provide all the information necessary about the number of hours and patterns you’ve been driving.

Digital Driver’s Cards
What are tachographs?

In order to keep track of your hours efficiently and accurately, you will need to use something called a tachograph. This is a way of measuring your hours and providing the information in an easy to read format at a glance, so you can produce it for police, operators and more whenever you need to prove your hours.

Old tachographs were analogue and required the driver and/or operator to fill them in manually. However, now tachographs are digital for the most part. These digital tachographs fit onto the vehicle and keep a track of the number of hours it has been driving.

What are digital drivers’ cards?

As well as a device being fitted to the vehicle you’re driving, you’ll also need to carry a special card with you at all times. This card carries on it all the information about your driving hours, because the device fitted to your vehicle ‘talks’ to the card and keeps it constantly updated. If you’re ever stopped and asked for your card by an officer, you must be able to provide it and it must be up to date and accurate when it comes to your personal details. You may never have used your card before, but you should still hand it over whenever asked, if you’re driving a vehicle which is within the legal jurisdiction of the EU.


What if there’s a problem with my card?

If your card becomes out of date, you must inform the DVLA immediately. The same goes if you notice an error on your card in your personal information. If you fail to do so, you could find you’ve broken the law. You’re not allowed to carry more than one card, unless you’ve received a new one and your current one hasn’t yet expired. That includes carrying cards from the UK and any other EU member state.  It goes without saying that any cards which are forged or tampered with are illegal and could carry a heavy sentence.


All cards must be working properly with your tachograph, so report any problems immediately and don’t drive if it’s not functioning correctly with your vehicle’s device.Any lost cards must be reported right away, as well as any damaged cards. This doesn’t mean you can’t drive until you get a new one, but you will need to take analogue data with you instead so you can show it if needed.

To apply for a new card you need to contact DVLA and fill the form or call them directly on 0300 790 6109.


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