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Monday, June 8 (2015) is the date that UK drivers will no longer need the paper section of their driving licences. The country’s new digital licence system will officially be in place, eventually resulting in licence upgrades as drivers renew their documents. The government is insisting drivers can destroy their paper documents on that date, but haulage and transport officials are advising professional drivers to take a wait-and-see approach. The driving licence changes could be problematic for HGV drivers travelling abroad.

HGV UK reports that there exists a very real potential for police agencies outside of the UK being unaware of the licence changes. In the event a driver travelling abroad were pulled over, he/she would have to supply the police with a code that could be used to access driver records via the DVLA database. Such codes are only valid for a limited amount of time, requiring drivers to constantly get new codes for extended trips outside of the UK. This is assuming that foreign police agencies are even willing to make the effort to access the online system.

In the months following the transition, it might be helpful for HGV drivers to retain their paper documents as an extra layer of protection when travelling outside of the country. The same is true for PCV drivers operating tour buses throughout Europe. We expect things to be sorted out by the end of the year.

Putting Records Online

We have adopted the new licence system in this country in order to put records online. Digitising the records makes it easier for police and other authorities to access driver records and know these are accurate. With the paper document, it has been too easy for drivers to get away with misreporting their past driving histories until record-keeping systems caught up with them. Digital record keeping eliminates that problem.

From June 8, UK drivers will need only carry their plastic driving licence-ID card. Records of penalties, points, and accidents will be kept on the DVLA database and made accessible to individual drivers, their employers, and law enforcement agencies. The government is currently working on a system that will give free access to individuals and paid access to employers. That system was delayed late last year, causing the government to switch the changeover date from January to June. All systems are ready to go at this point.

HGV Training

Regardless of the new driving licence changes, all HGV drivers have to undergo training and licencing before they can begin working. We offer training to both individual and company drivers at dozens of facilities throughout the UK. If you are interested in a career as a professional lorry driver, we invite you to contact the HGV Training Centre at your earliest convenience. Our training programmes are affordable, timely, and effective.

Upon graduation, you will have access to our up-to-date jobs database to help you find a job. And trust us when we say there is plenty of work out there.


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