Key changes and updates in 2014 for those who manage driver licences at work

Tax Discs, Photo card Driving Licence, DVSA, Driver CPC & Unexpired Tax

January  Motorists are no longer required to have their insurance documents inspected before receiving a tax disc. Why?

Because this occasional check has been replaced by the Continuous Enforcement Scheme. This enables the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency to check for compliance regularly by cross referencing the Registered Keeper Database with the Motor Insurance Database. If a car is uninsured its keeper receives a reminder in the post. This is the chance to comply without penalty.

However, if no action is taken the offender receives a one hundred pound fixed penalty notice. This in turn can be followed by clamping impounding and/or prosecution. Court penalties include points on the licence a fine and disqualification. Furthermore the Continuous Enforcement Scheme minimises the benefit of a popular scam. This requires the motorist to purchase motor insurance so that he/she receives official documents through the post/online. The driver then cancels the policy claims a refund and retains the paperwork that until now could be used to tax a vehicle. So whereas this documentation still has merit it is of far less value to those with unscrupulous intentions.

February  Changes to the Photo card driving licence will enhance security features making the Photo card licence virtually impossible to forge or counterfeit.

Drivers are not required to change their driving licences until the 10 year Photo card expiry all new licences issued will include the new security features.

April The Driving Standards Agency and VOSA will merge to create a new agency called the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). The DVSA will formally be launched in April 2014.  Private and commercial vehicle users and drivers do not need to do anything specific as a result of this merger but you will start to see references to DVSA letterheads and publications in advance of the April 2014 launch.

September  By 10th September 2014 all LGV drivers (any vehicle over 3.5 tonnes) PCV and HGV drivers are required by law to complete 35 hours JAUPT approved training in every 5 year period.

European Directive 2003/59/EC requires the initial and continuous training of vocational drivers and is referred to as a ‘Driver CPC’. The required qualification applies to new drivers acquiring a LGV licence from 10 September 2009 and a PCV licence from 10 September 2008.

Those already holding a vocational licence on these dates were given ‘acquired rights’ in relation to the initial qualification, however all drivers must complete 35 hours of periodic training every five years. If you leave it too late then the greater the chance of not completing the required training by the deadline of September 2014 (LGV / HGV) or 2013 (PCV) therefore risking losing your ability to drive commercially.

Once drivers of (LGV/PCV) have completed their 35 hours of CPC periodic training they will be issued with a Driver Qualification Card (DQC).

It is unlawful to drive professionally anywhere in the European Union without a DQC.

Existing drivers can use their current vocational driving licence as proof of their Driver CPC however this will only apply until 9th September 2014 (LGV / HGV).

Exemptions – You don’t need Driver CPC if the vehicle you drive is:

  • used for non-commercial carriage of passengers or goods for personal use
  • used to carry material or equipment you use for your job – but driving the vehicle is not the main part of your job
  • used for driving lessons for anyone who wants to get a driving licence or a Driver CPC
  • used by, or is under the control of, the armed forces, civil defence, the fire service and forces responsible for maintaining public order
  • used in states of emergency or for rescue missions

The penalties are for non-compliance are:

  • Driving without a DQC: £1000 fine
  • Causing, permitting or aiding and abetting: £1000 fine
  • Failure to carry DQC: instant on the spot fine
  • Forging or falsifying documents: 2 years imprisonment / fine or both.

October  Motorists that sell cars privately will not be entitled to offer the “unexpired tax” incentive from October 2014. Sellers will have to claim vehicle excise duty refunds for any remaining months from the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). Buyers will then have to pay road tax online at post offices or via telephone before taking to the road. Why?

Because the paper tax disc that has graced windscreens for nearly a century will soon be consigned to history. This is part of the government’s plan to cut red tape and minimise expenditure. Motorists will no longer be able to glance at windscreens to confirm the tax has been paid. This could encourage unscrupulous sellers to claim that their vehicles have (say) eleven months tax remaining when they only have two. Extra tax of course can be worth hundreds of pounds on relatively modern vehicles that have high carbon emissions. So to eliminate the risk of misrepresentation private buyers will know whatever the vehicles and whatever the prices sellers will have to remove any tax value.

Information collated by LB trusted partner Driving Compliance.