Malcolm Maycock, managing director of Licence Bureau, looks at the licence checking industry.
In the past decade, a new industry has developed that checks a driver’s entitlement to drive, subject to their consent, by verifying their records direct with DVLA and not using the licence or counterpart.
These suppliers have a strict contract with DVLA and are regularly audited to ensure compliance and data security.
They recently set up the Electronic Driver Entitlement Checking Service (EDECS) user group, of which I have been elected as chairman. The group met with DVLA in January to discuss changes to the current database and the abolition of the counterpart.
DVLA confirmed it is seeking the relevant approvals to enhance its new system and allow the user group real-time access to driver results.
EDECS users are working with DVLA officials to explore the feasibility of introducing an accredited trade association model for the disclosure of driver data for driver entitlement checking purposes. The proposed changes should bring a range of benefits to all.
I believe the loss of the counterpart does not hamper anyone, because instead of the driver producing a document, they will be able to log into their driver record and provide a view of their current status, which the company can record.
A printout of the screen not seen by an employer would not be suitable as it could easily be manipulated.
Organisations will have access to driver records, subject to driver consent, as they currently do through the EDECS service, along with any other association that meets the criteria and complies with the requirements. Why should organisations who do not comply get access?
We have 33 years involvement with the police. We also have worked with DVLA to prevent and detect abuse of the system, and ensure data is protected. People will abuse any system if they are not accountable.
There have to be checks and balances, and we hope through the EDECS user group we can provide a safe and secure service to corporates, which will make our roads a safer place for all.