Questions and Answers

The DVLA service is NOT a ‘push’ type service. It doesn’t automatically notify any changes to a driver’s record. It will only respond to a request for this information. This means that the only way to find out if a driver’s record has been changed (short of asking the driver himself) is to perform a new search. DAVIS allows subscribers to perform automatic re-checks based upon company policy or the driver’s risk profile. So low risk drivers might be checked a couple of times a year. Those identified as higher risk or driving vocationally may be checked more frequently. DAVIS will flag up any critical warnings as well as advising on pending events such as expirations a number of days in advance.

In the case of those holding driving licences for Northern Ireland and Poland, davis offers a paper based manual check. This will be charged for separately and may take a couple of weeks in order to secure the results. In the case of other countries, the only real option is a visual check of the driving licence document itself in order to try to spot deliberate forgeries or alterations. There is no equivalent of the DVLA service elsewhere. If the ability to check foreign licences is claimed, you should check carefully what is being offered and what will be checked or validated and against which sources of data. There is a great deal of misinformation on this subject. Caveat Emptor (Let the buyer beware!).

The DVLA service may suit the needs of those running a small fleet perfectly well.  But for those running larger fleets, what may ostensibly appear “free” will in fact have hidden costs.  For example each and every time a check is to be performed, the driver will have to log on to the DVLA Website in order to generate a one-off security code that has to be passed to the employer.  The employer then has to log on themselves and use the code to visually inspect the results or print them off.  The results will typically need to be typed into another database or Excel spreadsheet, and updated each and every time.   There will be no reminders, prompts, notice of pending expirations, warnings and no automatic re-checking.   So someone will have to check on a regular basis and take necessary action as well as maintaining and updating the central database or Excel sheets.   With a non-automated system, errors and failures happen.  Checks can be accidentally missed and delays due to holidays or sickness may mean that Share Codes expire and the process has to start again. 

Then there’s the challenge of producing reports for senior management.  Data will have to be copied or exported, sorted, duplicated and provided to senior managers.  Any changes will typically involve cutting and pasting and as such are prone to error.   

When the time taken to interrogate the DVLA service for each check and clerical and administrative time is factored in, the cost of using a secure, automated and intuitive service with full reporting facilities may not actually be that different: it might be a lot cheaper. 

It may be tempting to continue to do this, but this service is intended for individual drivers to check their own driving licence and not for employers. What would you do if a disgruntled employee reports you to the Information Commissioners Office and claims they didn’t give permission? What evidence would you have that you didn’t access their personal data unlawfully? The benefit of using the Share Driver Licence service is that there is an audit trail. By using “Check My Licence” in this way you are risking prosecution and a fine. Even if you don’t have a problem with disaffected employees, you’re going to have to change your procedure at some time in the future when new identity controls are introduced anyway. So this practice has a limited lifespan.

This can be a problem – particularly for larger fleets.   There are a couple of possible solutions.  One possibility is to use the paperless e-consent process where your drivers can be emailed a request to consent to davis driving licence checks.  Drivers can log in to an account to do this from any computer or smart phone with an internet connection.  Provided they have an email account and a mobile device that can receive a PIN this is an option worth exploring.   

The other way that davis can process large quantities of data is to use a card reader linked to a PC.  This compact solution could be sent round to various offices and depots and simply reads the data off the driver’s licence in a few seconds, checks security features in the plastic card, captures the photo likeness and can issue a mandate for signature there and then.   It will work with tacho cards, DQ cards and foreign licences as well (although in the latter case we can’t check their record unless they have registered with the DVLA).  It’s an effective way of capturing large amounts of data accurately, quickly and conveniently in seconds.  You can even hire the card readers from us – so no need to invest in the hardware yourself.

The davis hosted service communicates with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) driver database via a series of secure servers through a dedicated private 1-1 lease line using the DVLA’s Access to Driver Data (ADD) service.  So the pipeline between the davis servers and the DVLA is not shared by any other providers for security purposes.  The service itself is provided as a secure fully hosted Software as a Service (SaaS) using our own secure servers that are fully owned, managed and maintained by Licence Check Ltd.  

The company is accredited to ISO 27001:2013 security standard, which is UKAS certified via Alcumus ISOQAR certificate number 12749.  Our systems are annually tested for resistance to cyber penetration and vulnerability by a recognised external third party agency approved by CREST.  Our systems are also subject to expert analysis and testing by a third party agency as part of our certification for Cyber Security Plus accreditation.   We are the only licence checking agency currently holding this government security standard.

Any Licence Check employees who directly interact with the davis service in a managerial or technical capacity are subjected to background security checks to Enhanced Baseline Security Standard before being allowed access to the service.

Client accounts will be user name and password protected.  Passwords will be required to have a minimum number of characters as well as containing a mix of alpha-numeric characters and symbols.  Passwords will need to be renewed by clients every 90 days as a matter of security and cannot be re-used within consecutive cycles.   Our personnel will also monitor use of the system with a view to identifying any unauthorized access or attempts to break into the service. 

You are the data controller. You can download your records and take them with you. We will securely delete your account including any archived data and confirm this in writing.

The service is intended to be available 24/7/365. However as a cloud-based service, we are dependent on external communications providers for the service infrastructure and need the DVLA Access to Driver Data service to be working in order to retrieve information from the driver record. From time to time we may also need to take the service down in order to upgrade the service, although this will be announced in advance and will usually take place outside office hours when the service tends to be used less. Typically you might expect 99.8% availability in any one month.

Yes. There is a “Warnings” notification page that will list any urgent or pressing actions that management should take (for example where a licence has expired or a driver is disqualified). Your nominated representatives will be emailed any urgent notifications and at the end of the week a summary report is provided by the service. Our Support Team will also call you to confirm any urgent action that needs to be taken – just to make sure!

Yes. This information can be manually entered into the driver record. Unfortunately it is not available from the DVLA as part of the driving licence check – at least for the present time. There is development currently taking place within the DVLA service to provide basic tacho-card and CPC expiration information and numbers, but this has not yet been released. Once the data has been manually keyed to LICENCHECHECK, advance warnings of pending expirations and other notifications will be provided within the service

No.  Unfortunately not.   The DVLA service is a “pull” rather than a “push” service and the DVLA have made it clear there are no plans to change this.  This means that they will only respond to a licence check request that is made to their service and will only provide the information current in the record at that time.   The only way that an employer can pick up changes from the DVLA record is by making another request.   This makes it all the more important that in your own driver policy documentation or Driver Handbook you stress that drivers notify you of any change in their circumstances and there are sanctions for deliberate failure to do so. 

Where a driver has received a Notice of Intended Prosecution or other documentation that suggests that action is pending, this can be uploaded into davis and stored as part of the driver record with a follow up date appended.  The same is true of any driver speed awareness courses etc. attended as an alternative to prosecution.

Both terms have a meaning at law that is probably slightly wider in terms of its parameters than might be expected.   Unless the offence is one of strict liability, at criminal law there is a requirement for a criminal act to have been committed and a mental state that intends the offence or is reckless. A more detailed explanation is provided below;

Causing would cover expressly or implicitly mandating or otherwise giving permission to conduct or an omission.   In the case of the offence of driving the prosecution would need to establish that the defendant company had authority to cause the use of the vehicle and:-

o They were aware the vehicle was to be used on the road and

o Were aware of the offence and

o Nonetheless authorised the driver to use the vehicle. 

Permitting would occur where the employer gives the unlicensed or improperly licensed employee permission to use the vehicle, and it can be shown that the employer knew, or ought to have known of the facts of the offence.

o Allowing an employee with a provisional licence to drive unaccompanied on the public road.

o Allowing an employee to drive a manual vehicle when they are restricted to automatic vehicles.

o Turning a blind eye deliberately would suffice such as saying nothing when a driver known to be disqualified gets behind the wheel.

That depends upon whether the vehicle in question satisfies the legal requirement of being a “motor vehicle” which is a “mechanically propelled vehicle intended or adapted for use on the road.” (Section 185(1) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and Section 136 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984).  Whether or not something is mechanically propelled is for the court to decide.   The same is true on the issue of whether it was intended or adapted for use on the road.  But some illustrative cases are:

DPP V. Saddington Times (2000) where a “Go-ped” (a small mechanical scooter with a 22.5cc engine) that was being used by a disqualified driver was considered to be a motor vehicle.

DPP V King (2008) where the defendant – again a disqualified driver with no insurance – was riding a small electric scooter on the road.  The City Mantis scooter had no pedals and could reach speeds of 10 mph.  The court decided that this was a motor vehicle. 

The Segway is similarly considered to be a “motor vehicle” and is the subject of specific attention in guidance published by the Crown Prosecution Service.   The general consensus is that as a self-balancing scooter is mechanically propelled it requires registration, insurance, road tax and is subject to the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 and the European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA) since it is capable of a speed or more than 4 mph.

Since the Segway is a motor vehicle, the rider/driver will be required to hold a driving licence and third party insurance.   However, because Self Balancing Personal Transporter is not a category of vehicle covered by the driving licence entitlement categories, any use of a Segway on the public highway is by definition “unlicensed” use and therefore in breach of Section 87 of the Road Traffic Act.  So driving a Segway on the road or pavement is an offence.  Use on private land or private roads would not be an offence.

Mobility Scooters that fall into Class 2 or Class 3 invalid carriages can be used on the pavements.  A driving licence is not required for either class – even if, in the case of class 3, it is used on the road.  A non-disabled person can only drive a Mobility Scooter on the road if:

o They are testing it.

o They are instructing on its use.

o They are taking it for repair.

Class 2 invalid carriages can only be used on the road where there is no pavement and have a maximum speed of 4 mph.  Class 2 invalid carriages don’t need to be registered with the DVLA. 

Class 3 invalid carriages can be used on the pavement (limited to 4 mph) or on the road (limited to 8 mph).   They must be registered with the DVLA.  They do not require road tax.  They do not require insurance (although this is recommended).   Class 3 invalid carriages should have efficient brakes, a horn, front and rear lights & reflectors, a rear view mirror, direction indicators and a flashing amber light if used on a dual carriageway.   They are further limited in weight to 150Kg.

This will depend upon the number of checks to be performed each year and the process required by the company. If for example Licence Check are requested to manage the process of obtaining driver consent (rather than using the self-service approach) this would be chargeable.

To obtain a quotation call us on 0845 226 9686 or email us at sales@licencheck.co.uk. We offer an excellent service at competitive rates. We are rated at 4.9 out of 5 in our customer satisfaction surveys.

Yes, we are founder members of ADLV and adhere to its charter and Code of Conduct.

We can only report back what the DVLA has on file for the driver record. Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 as amended, previous convictions for all but the most serious offences are “spent” after a period of time and no longer have to be disclosed. This includes sentences for motoring offences in the form of fines, endorsements and points etc. Once the penalty is spent, the DVLA will remove this from the driver record and when DAVIS searches against this record, the previous convictions will not be returned.