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The HGV Training Centre works with new HGV and PCV drivers attempting to earn their first commercial driving licences. As such, we are very familiar with the licence checking system in the UK. British licence holders can be validated by employers simply by checking the DVLA database or working through a third-party provider offering licence checks. However, things are not so easy if a company wants to verify the validity of a lorry licence held by a foreign driver.

Commercial Fleet’s September 14 (2015) blog post addressed this very problem in detail. As they explained, companies are prohibited by law from causing or allowing a driver without a valid licence to operate commercial vehicles on public roads. That means Company A cannot employ a foreign driver without a valid licence and then claim ignorance as a defence if caught. Companies have a legal responsibility to verify licences.

The problem is that foreign drivers are not included in the UK database. Checking with their home countries is not as easy as it sounds, either. We are fortunate in that the DVLA has been progressively building a comprehensive system over the last several years, a system that is making it easier to check licences. The same cannot be said in other countries – especially some in Eastern Europe.

Foreign Drivers and the Driver Shortage

Foreign drivers have been sought out as one possible solution to the current driver shortage in this country. In fact, there are some recruiting firms in the UK concentrating all their efforts on bringing Eastern Europeans to the UK to work. In the absence of being able to verify a lorry licence, some of them are opting to simply put those drivers through several months of training so that they might earn a UK licence. Nevertheless, that requires drivers to agree to become permanent residents, a task that has some challenges of its own.

Unless something occurs to make it easier to validate foreign licences, it does not appear that recruiting drivers from Eastern Europe will be effective in reducing the driver shortage. Recruiters will have to refocus their efforts on encouraging young people here in the UK to get into the haulage and transport industries.

Earn Your Lorry Licence Quickly

The HGV Training Centre invites you to contact us for more information about earning your lorry licence. If you already have a valid Class B licence, you need only pass a routine medical exam to begin the training process. We will guide you through every step, from theory test preparation to physically accompanying you on the day of your practical skills test.

We are one of the largest and most respected driver training companies in the UK, with years of experience under our belts. We can train you and prepare you to take your lorry licence test in a matter of weeks. Start your training now and you could be ready to look for work just in time for the busy holiday season hiring rush.

Sources:

Commercial Fleet – https://www.commercialfleet.org/more/blog/driving-licences-overseas-drivers-unable-to-comply-with-licence-checking

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