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Corporate travellers can now use the DVLA online car hire access code for up to 21 days

22nd July 2015

Car-hire-and-ground-transport-solutions from Flightline-Business-Travel-AgentsSince 08 June 2015, any UK driving licence holders hiring a vehicle need to use “Share Driving Licence”, the new online service from the The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), for validation of their driving record. The online one-time use code, which was initially only valid for 72 hours (i.e. three days), has now been extended by the DVLA. Corporate travellers requiring to hire a car for  their business meeting or conference have now 21 days to use the unique passcode generated online to replace the paper counterpart of UK driving licences.

The change is in response to the feedback the agency received over the inflexibility of the system enabling travellers renting cars to enquire online for a online car hire access code via the DVLA website. With the abolition of the paper driving license counterpart, car hire companies now require the code to check whether drivers are eligible to rent a vehicle before handing over the hire car to clients. For this purpose, the car drivers need to login to the “Share Driving Licence” service from the DVLA and retrieve the online car hire access code required to proof they are eligible to rent a vehicle. However, the implementation of the new system with the 72 hour time window for using the code, made it more complicated for many travellers, including those travelling abroad for work purposes. The three day validity restriction meant that by the time you arrive at the destination the code may have already expired. Reported issues of the system also include that travellers are required to find suitable IT facilities providing an internet connection and access to computers or laptops so that they can get the code from the DVLA website while travelling overseas. The new three-week window provides travellers now with the opportunity to have more time for organising it in advance and having the code ready at time of pick up.

By having made the move to extend the online car hire access code validity to 21 days, the DVLA offers travellers now a more effective system which makes it easier and more convenient for all travellers whilst preventing the new system to crash again by reducing the number of people accessing the website during peak travel seasons.  When the new system was launched on 8th June 2015 it collapsed as too many people were visiting the DVLA “Share Driving Licence” service website at the same time.

It is also advisable to contact the car-hire company to establish what information the company requires before they hand over a rental vehicle to travellers. Corporate travellers will need to have their National Insurance number handy when completing the online form with the verification information needed to obtain their online code.

However, corporate travellers are advised to keep in mind the some car hire companies abroad, may not know of the change to the new system yet, and still ask clients for the paper counterpart to proof their driving licence records. Although the paper counterpart to the driving licences now has no legal status in the UK or overseas, it is advisable to travellers needing to hire a car to keep hold of their counterpart and bring it with them overseas as a safety measure to avoid the situation of being without a vehicle abroad.

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