The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has decided to push back its abolition of the driving licence paper counterpart until June 8, 2015.
The agency told Fleet News in November that it would not be abolishing the paper counterpart in January, 2015 but at the time it had not set a new date.
The BVRLA, which had been calling for the date to be put back, said that the six-month delay will give its vehicle rental members vital breathing space to test and develop new processes for verifying customer driving licence details.
The agency has also responded to the BVRLA’s call for a real-time, online driver details checking service to be developed in advance of the abolition by promising "technical solutions that provide up-to-date, fit-for-purpose alternatives to the paper counterpart".
“We welcome this delay and are happy that the DVLA and the Department for Transport have listened to the needs of some of their biggest customers,” said Gerry Keaney, chief executive of the BVRLA.
“The DVLA finally has a clear plan of action for developing its online alternative to the paper counterpart, and we look forward to working with them in delivering a robust, cost-effective solution for the vehicle rental sector.”
Karen Dee – FTA director of policy added: “We had voiced concerns that the new date would be rushed and would not allow any significant re-development of the systems that businesses were expected to use to carry out critical safety checks on their drivers.
“FTA was given assurances by the DVLA that the removal would not happen until such a time that an alternative was in place that satisfied the requirements of FTA Business. The announcement of June 8, 2015 demonstrates that Ministers have listened to industry’s concerns, and we look forward to working with DVLA to develop a system which is fit for purpose."