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Can I use the old style paper driving licence when hiring a car?

The simple answer to this question is YES. Paper driving licenses are still valid and the driver can continue to use it until it expires, providing none of the driver details (like their name or address have changed).

old style driving license car hire

The changes:
Photocard driving licences were introduced in 1998, however approximately 7 million drivers in the UK still hold a paper driving licence. As of June 2015, paper counterparts to photocard driving licences were abolished. This has led to some confusion for holders of the old style paper licences. These do not need to be destroyed, as they are still valid after June 2015. The only time a driver would need to change their paper driving licence would be if any of the important driver details such as name or address change.

Hiring a car:
Drivers wishing to hire a car need to be aware that both paper licences and photocard licences will no longer contain offence details. It is therefore vital that drivers go to the DVLA’s View Driving Licence service. The link to this service can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence

Once you are on this site you can view your driver licence details including any penalty points and most importantly the site will provide you with a check code, this is the code required by most car hire companies and will be requested at the car hire collection desk. This code enables the providers to check your driver details along side those provided on your paper or photocard licence. The check code will be valid for 21 days.

How do I get the check code?
In order to obtain a check code you will need to visit the DVLA website and enter:
  • Your driver number
  • Your postcode
  • Your national insurance number
After entering these details you can request to share your licence information and create a code, which can be shared with your car hire company.

In summary:
When hiring a car the company will want to see either your photocard licence or your pre-1998 paper licence (both are valid). However they may wish to check penalty points, this is when they would ask you to provide them with a code to check your details. The code can be obtained from the DVLA website.

Kellie Hodge
Posted: July 01, 2016 by Kellie Hodge
About the Author -

Travel writer, customer service guru, Kellie knows the ins and outs of car rental and always happy to share her knowledge on our blog. Favourite country to visit: Spain.

Last updated: Wednesday, June 24, 2020
This is first time that i came to know about this paper licences.Its really nice thanks for sharing this with us
10/5/2016 12:35:41 PM