The DVLA has launched a new licence-checking service, which allows companies to submit driving licence details online and receive replies within 24 hours.
The service will make it much easier and quicker for fleets to check that potential drivers hold the relevant licence and will highlight if they have any endorsements and what they are.
The launch of the new service follows a trial with one of DVLA’s contracted DECS (Driver Entitlement Checking Services) customers, which involved sending the licence data via secure file transfer, instead of current method, which involves the data being encrypted, downloaded to a CD-ROM and sent manually via the Government Car and Despatch Agency.
“As the pilot was successful, the DVLA is now in the process of transferring existing customers to this method of transfer,” explained a DVLA spokesman.
“This new service would allow requests to be made Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays), with the data normally returned the following working day.”
Any company can apply to use the new service, but the DVLA warns that there is a waiting list.
In order to use the service, a company must also make a minimum of 200 driver licence enquiries a month, sign a contract and obtain mandates from the driving licence holders.
“The company would also have to pay for connection and the secure file account,” said the DVLA spokesman.
“The estimated cost of this is currently being reviewed.”
Companies wishing to be added to the list can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Jaama, which is one of ten companies already offering fleets the new driver licence checking service, estimates that there are some 400,000 motorists on the roads without a valid driving licence.
“Driver licence checking is the Achilles’ heel for many fleets,” said Jaama managing director Jason Francis.
“All employees who drive on business should have their licences validated and any endorsements put on file whether they drive company-provided vehicles or their own.”