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Driver Vetting and Induction Procedures - Driver Licence Checking

Ordinary Driving Licence Details (Cars and Light Commercial Vehicles - Vans)

When recruiting any new employee required to drive on company business, whether it be a Company, 'hired in' or 'Grey Fleet' vehicle you should first view the drivers original credit card driving licence. Up until recently it would have been accompanied by the paper counterpart which would have contained details of any driving convictions, bans, points and fines previously issued by the courts. However since the abolition by the DVLA of the paper counterpart licence on 8th June 2015 it is no longer possible to check endorsement or points without applying to the DVLA.

There are a number of ways you can verify the validity of drivers licences, these can be via one of the many independent companies who specialise in this, requiring you to obtain a drivers mandate form which would normally be valid for 3 years, to view their licence information whilst at the same time paying the company for doing so around £ 5 to £ 10 per driver, depending upon the amount of data and the service level agreed for your company.

To coincide with the removal of the counterpart licence the DVLA have created two new systems, both of which are free to use.

  •  'View My Licence - An 'on-line' systems for licence holders to verify their own licence details.
  •  'Share My Licence'- An adaptation of the above to share specific drivers licence data with authorised interested parties, such as employers, car hire companies etc.

View My Licence - This system provides the licence holder with all year round 'on-line' access to their licence details. The system is free of charge and 24/7. To access this online checking system the licence holder will need to log into https://www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence and enter the following information.

  •  Driver Licence number
  •  National Insurance Number
  •  Postcode

These security checks will need to be entered onto the opening screen and a box ticked which confirms that the licence holder authorises DVLA to check their details with other Government departments.

In the event that a driver is unaware of their number, an alternative screen is available where the following information can be entered, and which will provide access to the holder's licence details.

  •  National Insurance number
  •  Postcode
  •  Full Name
  •  Date of Birth 

 Gender

It is important to note that the DVLA remain insistent that it is the driver who logs onto this system and not a third party.

Share My Licence - This system allows the third party to view most of the above details such as type of licence, Full / Provisional / Disqualified, endorsements and penalty points as well as what vehicles they can legally drive and is available free of charge 24/7.

To verify the driver's licence details the third party / employer will need to log into https://www.gov.uk/check-driving-information and enter the last eight digits of the licence number and the access code. Note that this code is case sensitive and must be used within 21 days of it being generated.

If neither the driver or interested third party have access to a computer to complete either of the above methods of verification then it is still possible to check by phone. With the driver present he / she will have to call the DVLA on 0300 790 6801 and leave permission for the check. You can then call DVLA on 0906 139 3837 (calls cost 51p per minute) to check the driver's details after they have given their permission.

Once you have established that the driver does have a valid licence it is worth remembering that you are then required to be 'competent' to ensure that this licence entitlement is of the correct category to suit the vehicle you intend them to drive, i.e. Category B for a car, etc. and that you fully understand what the penalty points issued are for. For more information on penalty points see https://www.gov.uk/penalty-points-endorsements/endorsement-codes-and-penalty-pointscodes-and-penalty-points

LGV / LCV (Vocational) Licence Details

Applicants for LGV and LCV driving positions should also be required to present their driver's licence details to you prior to the commencement of driving for the company. Using the same licence checking systems as previously noted above, it should be in good order, legible and preferably, free of endorsement codes/points with valid driving dates and date of birth clearly visible.

LGV licences carry a tighter time limit. Normally an LGV driver is required to undergo a medical as part of their initial application for the licence. Once granted, the licence is then valid until the driver's 45th birthday upon which a further medical and application will be required. Upon renewal, the licence will be valid for another 5 years, re-applications and medicals will occur at subsequent 5 yearly intervals thereafter (or sooner if the driver develops a number of medical conditions - Refer to the Medical Conditions section) later in this document.

Again, particular attention should be paid to ensuring that the applicant has the type of licence qualification you require. The checker should be aware of the 2nd E.U. Directive regarding the changes to car licence driving entitlements for car drivers passing their Category "B" Entitlement after January 1st 1997, particularly if the driver is required to tow or driver minibuses / vehicles exceeding 3.5t GVW (see table below).

 

Date Passed Car Test

Car/GV

GVW up to 3.5 ton

GVW up to 7.5 ton

Trailer up to 750kg

Trailer over 750kg

Minibus up to 8 seats

Minibus up to 16 seats inc’g the driver

Prior to 1/1/97

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

After 1/197

Y

Y

N

Y

N

Y

N

 

For more detailed information on maximum trailer weights, and combination of towing vehicle and trailer combined maximum weights referred to as (MAM), visit the national trailer and towing association or DVLA websites via the following links:

Where reference is made to the maximum authorised mass (MAM) of vehicles and trailers. This should be taken to mean the permissible maximum weight, also known as the gross vehicle weight.

Following the initial checks of driving licences at interview stage, it is the industry best practice to re-check them again preferably every 6 months but at least annually for insurance purposes. (Note for LGV drivers the Transport Commissioner, Beverly Bell suggests a minimum of 6 monthly checks, preferably 3 monthly)

As a best practice, contracts of employment should be amended to require drivers to inform you immediately of any pending prosecutions for any offence or medical conditions which may affect their driving licence or ability to drive, even if it refers to offences committed when driving a vehicle other than company owned vehicles.

Endorsements/Convictions, Including Suspensions

Whilst checking the original driving licence, it is imperative that you identify all endorsement codes shown on the licence, finding out what they are and how long they will apply for. This will give you an insight into the driver's attitude to safe driving and on the road behaviour.

It is not unusual for speeding points to be applied to drivers' licences; however this should not be dismissed as an 'occupational hazard', but should be taken into account in the driver recruitment and decision process.

Questions should also be asked regarding any pending prosecutions, which would not automatically show up on the licence, where you are not comfortable with any aspect of a driving licence then have it validated by DVLA.

Driver Qualification Card - LGV / PSV drivers

Since September 2013 for PSV and Sept 2014 for LGV drivers, all commercial vehicles drivers with few exceptions have been required to complete 35 hours of compulsory CPC periodic driver training every 5 years. This requirement is in addition to the driver's normal driving licence requirements and is recorded on a separate DQC card which must be carried by the driver when driving. The DQC is issued by the DVSA on successful completion of the initial test and when 35 hours of periodic training has been completed.

Periodic training is recorded on a central database administered by the DVSA . Every time a driver completes and approved course the approved training provider must update the central database within 5 working days. Drivers can obtain a statement showing their training form DVSA (only the driver can obtain this) by making a request with the statement being posted to the driver's registered home address on their driving licence. Drivers should email the DVSA unit at CPCRE@dsa.gsi.gov.uk  (or call 0191 201 8112) including their name, D.O.B., driving licence number and home address.

It is advisable to all employees to include this evidence as part of your new driver recruitment process.

Medical Conditions

For all employees who may ever drive on company business, irrespective of licence type, you as the employer are required to ensure, as far as 'reasonably practicable', the driver is fit to drive at all times. Therefore you must ask the driver specific questions to ascertain if they suffer from any of the DVLA notifiable medical conditions. The complete list with guidance notes can be accessed from:

Drivers Medical Group,
DVLA,
Swansea,
SA99 1DL

Fax: 0845 850 0095

e-mail: eftd@dvla.gsi.gov.uk 

website:  https://www.gov.uk/health-conditions-and-driving

Should you discover any potential driver to have any of the detailed medical conditions, or you require any clarification with regard to a medical condition, you should also contact the DVLA Medical Group for further guidance.

Additional Drivers

Questions should also be asked regarding other potential drivers such as spouse / partners and children if your company policy permits it. Again any potential drivers should be vetted using the above procedures as appropriate and the vetting should be implemented prior to the commencement of driving the company vehicle.

In order to reduce the risk of accidents, we recommend that you restrict driving to the driver only for commercial vehicles and to spouse / partner only for car drivers who have private use of your company vehicle.

To reduce the risk further you should avoid allowing young inexperienced drivers and any provisional licence holders unless they are commercial vehicle drivers on some form of regulated company scheme. Whatever the case it should be the company who authorise individual drivers following full vetting procedures, this is best served with clear instructions on authorised drivers in your company drivers handbook. An example is available from:

https://help.aviva.co.uk/risksolutions/motor-risk/driver/RS0002

References

Where possible, references should be sought from previous employers either in writing or by telephone. The questions should include driving performance, vehicle housekeeping (looking after the vehicle), accident history and attitude.

In the haulage industry, it is not uncommon for drivers to move around from job to job. Try to find out why they moved as the information gathered from previous employers often puts a different 'slant' on the driver's motives to switch employment.

Ideally, the checking of references should be done prior to employment commencing.

Drivers Declaration and Signature

Once the driver has successfully completed the driver's application form to your satisfaction, completing all questions, you should retain the form, which must be duly signed by the applicant, within your personnel records. Many employers also attach the photocopy of the driving licence and any details regarding references received. Please note that these personal details must be kept securely to ensure compliance with the Data Protection Act.

Driver Vetting Series

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 Aviva Risk Solutions, please call 0345 366 6666 or email us at riskadvice@aviva.com

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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