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Motoring Law Update

Important changes have come into force as of midnight meaning that the paper counterparts to driving licences will now have no legal status here or abroad. Information that has previously been recorded on the paper counterpart will now be stored electronically by the DVLA.

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It appears that many people are unaware of the changes and the DVLA advice. However, holidaymakers are warned that they may risk being refused hire cars by rental companies if they follow the official advice and destroy it.

Also, for those who were issued with the paper driving licence before the photo card was introduced in 1998, this will still remain valid and should not be destroyed.

I suspect many people will keep the paper part for sentimental reasons, through habit, or just out of a sense of uncertainty of the law in much the same way tax discs are still displayed on many people’s cars.

Considering Doubling Current Financial Penalties

In other motoring news, the government is considering doubling the current financial penalties imposed for offences such as speaking on a mobile phone or sending a text message whilst driving.

The review will consider closing current loopholes, which enable drivers ‘distracted’ by sending text messages or using social media via hands free equipment, to avoid prosecution. Other ‘distraction’ devices such as the recently released Apple watch are likely to come under scrutiny too.

Figures released by the government suggest that such offences are still prevalent in spite of an increase in the fixed penalty from £60 to £100 which, to date, has not proved to be a deterrent.