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Driving Licence Checks

A considerable number of businesses and those responsible for the operation of a company vehicle(s) are not covering one or more of the four most important risk management procedures:

  • New driver vetting including licence checking 
  • Driver induction procedures 
  • Issuing a driver handbook 
  • Post incident investigations

This section gives you help and guidance on driving licence checking to ensure risk management procedures are established and enforced.

Checking the validity of driver's licences is an important and essential requirement.

The section highlights the different types of driving licences and how to perform an annual licence check procedure.

Types of Driving Licence:

  1. Provisional 
  2. Full
  3. Visitor's Driving Permit 
  4. International Driving Permit

For more information visit the DVLA website

Licence checking procedure

  • For commercial drivers over 45, check that they have a current medical certificate 
  • Check driving licence and ensure licence is valid for vehicle type to be driven 
  • If driver has a photocard licence, check that it is still valid (See below)
  • Check endorsements
  • Check length of driving experience with licence held

Since July 1998, UK Driving Licences have been issued in two parts - A photocard (which includes basic details such as entitlement to drive) and a paper counterpart (containing additional details such as endorsements).

Between 1976 and 1985 the Driving Licence was paper with a green background. From 1986 until the introduction of photocard licences, it was paper with a pink background.

In addition to a valid Driving Licence, all bus, coach and lorry drivers require a Driver CPC (Driver Certificate of Professional Competence).

For new drivers this has applied since September 2008 (bus and coach) and September 2009 (lorry) respectively.

Existing bus, coach and lorry drivers have acquired rights for a period of 5 years from the above dates. After this period (September 2013 bus and coach/September 2014 lorry) all drivers will require a driver CPC.

Find out more about Driver CPC

If in doubt or where the driver may be transporting valuable or attractive loads etc., check licence with the DVLA and have a police check carried out.

Employees using their own vehicle

Employees using their own vehicle on company business should annually confirm they have a valid driving licence, motor insurance which includes business use, an up-to-date MOT certificate and a regular service to the manufacturer's specification.

How to Validate a Driver's Licence

This service is available from the DVLA and there are two options currently available:

1) If you do not require anything in writing and will accept verbal confirmation of the validation, the driver can telephone the DVLA contact centre on 0870 240 0009 and leave permission for their details to released.

The company can then telephone the DVLA premium rate line (49p a minute) which is 0906 139 3837 to obtain the information. This service is available from 08.00 am - 8.30 pm Monday to Friday & 08.00 am - 5.30 pm on Saturday.

2) Companies are also able to open an account with DVLA Data Subject Enquiries section (the account will need to stay in credit). If this is your preferred option you will need to fax or post a signed mandate form from the driver before details can be released. Please access  Consent Form

Alternatively Cardinus Risk Management the Aviva partner in motor risk management, provides a driver compliance check service for a nominal cost per licence which includes any re-checks. This type of service will assist you in meeting both your legal and corporate responsibilities.

For more detailed information of this service and its many benefits contact Cardinus Risk Management on 0207 469 0200 or email

Useful Motor Risk Templates are available for you to download free of charge - visit our ‘Tools and Templates' section.

For more information on useful products and services to help you manage your vehicles and drivers view our Preferred Suppliers

For more information on our risk solutions, please call 0345 366 66 66 or email us at

Please Note
This document contains general information and guidance and is not and should not be relied on as specific advice. The document may not cover every risk, exposure or hazard that may arise and Aviva recommend that you obtain specific advice relevant to the circumstances. AVIVA accepts no responsibility or liability towards any person who may rely upon this document.

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