Demand from employers for administratively simple but robust validation of employees’ driving licences will increase with the 2015 abolition of the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence.
That’s the view of leading fleet management software provider Jaama, whose electronic driver entitlement checking service (EDECS) seamlessly links with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s (DVLA) database.
Jaama’s system is already used by organisations to collectively check the driving licences of thousands of at-work drivers, including employees who drive their own cars on business journeys.
EDECS is fully integrated within Jaama’s multi award-winning online Key2 fleet management software giving customers a complete picture of their driver risk and fleet management operation. Alternatively, EDECS is available as a standalone system for customers who want a driver risk profile tool.
Abolition of the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence had been expected at the turn of the year, but the DVLA has now delayed the move until June 8, 2015.
The counterpart was introduced in 1998 as part of the photocard driving licence to display information that could not be included on the photocard. That includes holders’ driving entitlement categories and current endorsements/penalty points.
Jaama’s comprehensive licence checking service removes the ‘DIY’ administrative burden for employers and also ensures they have all information on drivers and their vehicles held in one central database, building a combined intelligent profile and highlighting exceptions.
However, many employers continue to undertake checks internally themselves by looking at the document, but the Government’s decision to axe the paper counterpart means that will no longer be possible.
Instead, the DVLA is planning to introduce a free of charge online service for employers to check the validity of employees’ driving licences. It has said that the service is currently in development and will be available before the counterpart is abolished.
While exact details of the how the DVLA’s service will function have yet to be announced, it is understood that database access will be on an individual driver basis.
Jaama managing director Martin Evans believes the administrative burden that will cause employers will result in the company winning more driver licence checking business.
Mr Evans said: “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.”
Jaama driver licence checking service 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.
Mr Evans said: “Jaama already offers a proven electronic verification service that is far more complete – critically enabling batch checking – than we believe is being planned by the DVLA.”
He concluded: “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.
“Employers should be putting in place licence checking measures now and not wait until the abolition of the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence when they could find they do not have the internal resources available to effectively and efficiently manage the process providing them with a clear audit trail.”