Fleet decision-makers must urgently implement initiatives to ensure they have robust validation of employees’ driving licences in place ahead of the June 8th abolition of the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence, according to leading management software provider Jaama.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is axing the paper counterpart as part of the government’s programme to reduce red tape.
Many car, van and HGV fleets already use Jaama’s electronic driver entitlement checking service (EDECS), which seamlessly links with the DVLA’s database, to check the driving licences of thousands of at-work drivers, including employees who drive their own cars on business journeys and spouse drivers.
However, many employers continue to undertake checks internally themselves by looking at the counterpart, which contains essential occupational road risk management information on a holders’ driving entitlement categories and current endorsements/penalty points.
Jaama will be exhibiting at the 2015 Fleet Show, which is being held on Tuesday, May 12, at the world famous Silverstone Circuit and organised by industry publication Fleet World.
At the Show, Jaama will be promoting Licence2Check, which is delivered online and provides a complete audit trail of driver information and licence checks helping towards comprehensive road safety and duty of care compliance.
Available as a standalone product or as a fully-integrated module within Jaama’s multi award-winning Key2 Vehicle Management system, Licence2Check can: 
•Automatically send out a three-year employee mandate – giving permission for the checks to be carried
•Email automated reminders to ensure the mandates are returned 
•Provide customers with the ability to batch upload signed mandates
•Submit licences to be checked based up customer defined parameters without manual intervention
•Provide alerts to fleet decision-makers of licence issues uncovered from the DVLA check.
•Automatically update the related employees’ driver record.
Jaama managing director Martin Evans said: “The countdown to June 8th is well underway and fleet decision-makers must move driver licence checking online for a speedy and accurate way to ensure employees are correctly licenced to drive vehicles on company business.
“June 8th as the date for the abolition of the counterpart has been known for some time, but we are aware of many fleets that have still not introduced secure online processes to validate employees’ driving licences.
“An employee may have a photocard driving licence, but it tells the employer absolutely nothing about the driver in terms of their risk-related endorsement points.
“The only way an employer can be absolutely certain that a member of staff can legally drive, and specifically the number of endorsement points they have on the licence, is to carry out checks against the DVLA database themselves or engage a third party agency.
“Organisations that already use Jaama for driver licence checking will continue to benefit from a hugely efficient service even when the DVLA launches its own offering.
“What’s more, the DVLA service will, we believe prove to be administratively time consuming as each employees’ driver licence record will have to be accessed individually. With best practice determining that checks are carried out quarterly on employees with a large number of points on their licence, the whole process is likely to be a major burden for many employers.”
He concluded: “Licence2Check significantly reduces the administrative burden related to the checking of multiple licences, saving employers time and money.
“All employers have a clear duty of care responsibility to check the competency and capability of at-work drivers which starts with assessing validity of a driving licence on recruitment and periodically thereafter.”