DVLA figures show there has been a considerable increase in commercial electronic checking of licences by fleets.
The data has been obtained by the Association for Driving Licence Verification (ADLV) followng a freedom of information request.
The figures record the volume of licence checks made through members of the DVLA’s electronic driver entitlement checking service (EDECS), the vast majority of which are ADLV members.
In the last three months of 2014, the volume of licences checked electronically by these organisations rose by more than 22% on the previous year; this represents an increase in the percentage growth rate on prior year by 34% over just one quarter.
The total number of checks undertaken by EDECS users on behalf of UK fleets was in excess of 1.7 million in 2014.
ADLV member Richard Brown said the figures reflect both the news that the paper licence counterpart is set to disappear and awareness that the ADLV has been launched to advance the cause of commercial best-practice for electronic checking.
He added: “These figures are highly significant. They show that fleet managers are recognising that best practice has changed and that electronic checking through a fully-managed service from a professional third-party is the right way to check driver entitlement as it enables automated and continuous checking with full reporting and audit trails.
"We expect that these figures will continue to rise, especially as we get closer to the disappearance of the paper counterpart.
“The change in practice has also been reinforced by a general understanding that the paper PDF generated through the DVLA’s single record Share My Driving Licence alternative has no legal standing.
"There is also a concern that PDF and printed paper documents are open to fraud, which could leave organisations exposed to compliance risk.
"Many fleet managers see electronic checking as a superior and risk-free path to follow and as the message spreads we expect a significant adoption of these processes over the next six months.”