It is a legal requirement for companies to check the driving licences of their drivers, to ensure that they hold the correct licence to drive the vehicles they will be driving! This includes company cars, vans, lorries, buses and coaches. It also gives management the opportunity to monitor their drivers’ continued rights to drive their vehicles so they remain compliant.
The Road Traffic Act 1988 states that “as well as it being an offence for a driver to drive without a valid licence, it is also an offence for a person to permit a driver to drive without a valid licence”.
The only way to be certain that a driver can legally drive is to carry out a licence check and have this repeated based on their risk score.
We have started providing an online licence checking system which is risk based. This means regular checks are done without you having to remember, and they are checked more regularly if the driver has more points as they are a greater risk to your business.
The information contained in a driving licence check is classed as personal data and as such falls under the Data Protection Act 1988. Therefore, it is essential that companies gain written consent from their employees before carrying out the driving licence check. When using an online checking system all the GDPR requirements are covered for you.
If checks are done manually through the DVLA website, written consent, along with the record of the actual driving licence check needs to be kept on file, as evidence that the consent was given and that the checks have been completed.
Driving licences should be checked when a new starter joins the company and then recommended to be done every 3 months by the DVSA / DVLA. We then set up risk-based systems based on company requirements; however, our professional recommendation would be monthly for anyone with over 5 points.
It is important to minimalise a business liability as much as possible by doing the licence checks and having a robust, signed off policy and procedure for drivers to report endorsements and fines to the company, along with any medical conditions.
However, carrying out regular driving licence checks will allow companies to ensure that they are aware of any penalty points drivers have received and monitor their right to carry on driving for them.
Think of the potential health and safety and compliance implications if you had a vehicle (car, van, lorry, bus or coach) involved in an incident and the driver was not covered on your insurance due to points or loss of licence that you were not aware of. It is really not worth the risk.
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