When you run a business that involves sending out a large fleet of drivers, you’ll need to stay on top of licence checking. Although this can seem like a tedious task, it’s incredibly important. We debunk the top 7 myths about licence checking to make your life just a little bit simpler.

It’s the driver’s responsibility to ensure they have a licence

Although you might think your drivers would be honest and open about whether they still have a licence, some may choose to hide this from you. And, if they get caught driving without a licence or in an unlicenced vehicle, then it is your business that will get the blame.

Under the Road Traffic Act 1988, it is an offence to allow a person to drive a vehicle without a licence. It is the business’s responsibility to carry out checks on their driver’s licences. If one of your employees is caught driving a company vehicle without a licence then your business will be persecuted.

You won’t be prosecuted for not knowing

Unfortunately, not knowing is not a reasonable defence for letting your employee drive a business vehicle without a licence. You may get fined £1,000, or there is also the potential to be prosecuted under the Health and Safety Work Act 1974. This is much more serious, and you could be fined anything up to £20 million, depending on the size of your business.

You should carry out the same number of checks for all employees

As a general rule of thumb, driving licence checks should be carried out every six months. However, penalty points can accumulate quickly, so it may be necessary to do this more than once.

If one of your employees has more penalty points then you should increase the frequency of checks for that person, as there is an increased risk. Although it might seem difficult to judge who would need to be checked more than once, DriverCheck can help you work out whether there is a greater risk for a specific driver, helping you calculate the number of checks to make when checking a driver licence.

You can’t recruit drivers with points on their licence

Whilst you may still choose to recruit a driver with points on their licence, this may make you more mindful of the fact that they may need to have their licence checked more regularly.

You can check information on your employees using their driving licence details

Since the General Data Protection Act 1988 came into force, companies can no longer access their employee’s personal data. Since driving licences are classed as personal data, proper procedures must be carried out before you can access the driving licence verification.

At DriverCheck, we fully comply with the Data Protection Act by ensuring that everyone completes a Fair Processing Declaration to give permission for use to act on behalf of your company to check the employee’s licence via the DVLA.

Nowadays a ‘one-time’ check is no longer a time-effective or viable solution, as it may be tricky for you to prove your employee had given permission for you to access their data, especially if a verbal contract was made. If the employee were to complain then this could create a very large problem for your business.

Checking driving licences is difficult

If you want to check each driver’s licence yourself then this can prove time consuming and confusing. However, checking a driving licence online with DriverCheck makes it incredibly easy. We have a large in-house team dedicated to ensuring all drivers licence checks are carried out efficiently and reliably. We also provide support in any legislation policy changes, helping you stay on top of the law.