DVLA extends car hire 'check code' validity

Updated on 13 July 2015 | 5 Comments

Drivers hiring a car abroad will now have three weeks instead of three days to share their driving licence details with car hire firms.

Motorists heading abroad this summer are being given more time to use their car hire 'check code', following criticism of the DVLA's current three-day window.

Now they have 21 days to share their code with their chosen car hire company.

The DVLA has received numerous complaints from drivers that the previous 72-hour period wasn’t long enough.

It will be reviewed again in three months’ time after further feedback. Drivers in Northern Ireland are unaffected.

Why do I need a code?

Paper driving licences were abolished last month, meaning they don’t hold any legal status anymore. As a result, extra data like points and fines are now kept online.

So if you need to share your driver record, for example when hiring a car, you'll need to generate a 'check code'.

How do I get a code?

You can request a code through the new online Share Driving Licence service or by phoning the DVLA on 0300 083 0013.

You’ll need the driving licence number found on your photocard (or paper licence for pre-1998 holders), National Insurance number and the postcode on your driving licence.

As paper licences were only abolished recently, the AA is warning that foreign companies may not be aware of the changes, so keep all of your bases covered.

It’s worth noting that you’ll be able to download a PDF of your licence and take it with you, just in case you need to verify any information on your licence. You’ll still need a check code, though.

If you can’t get a code for whatever reason, you can give permission for the car hire firm to ring the DVLA to check you details over the phone, but this will cost you extra in international call charges and extra service costs so you should only do this if you really have to.

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