Coronavirus help and support for our insurance customers


DVLA Licence Validation

To reduce risk in your car hire business, it’s essential to thoroughly check each of your customer’s licences to make sure they are who they say they are and ensure that their licence is not fraudulent. Our short guide explains how to do this.

Ensuring you hire vehicles out to licensed drivers

No one knows better than you that a vehicle should never be hired out until you’re satisfied that the person who is due to hire the vehicle really is who they say they are. Experience indicates that ‘walk-in’ customers that haven’t phoned first, cash customers and non-local customers can present the greatest risk, especially if it’s late on a Friday or at weekends when it can be harder to check references.

Thoroughly checking the customer’s driving licence, recording the driver number, checking the photo card licence picture matches the hirer and checking the licence for signs of tampering are vital first steps. However, just because a licence looks genuine, it may not in fact present a true and accurate picture. For example, someone who is close to losing their licence may go to the DVLA saying they’ve mislaid their licence and request a new one so that when their licence is revoked, they still hold what looks on paper like a valid licence.

How to check a car rental customer's DVLA licence

If you have decided that you need to verify a driver’s identity, you have two options:

  1. The simplest way to do this is to ask customers to bring a DVLA check code with them. This code is valid for 21 days and can only be used once, to protect the driver’s privacy. See the DVLA's guide to using this service.  

  2. Alternatively, you can ask customers to bring a printout of their driving licence details.

If your customer is unable to fulfil either of these options, they may call the DVLA on 0300 790 6801 and grant your hire company permission to check their driving record verbally, over the phone. You can then call the DVLA on 0906 139 3837 to check the driver’s details. 

Commercial vehicle insurance from Towergate

We can offer tailored commercial vehicle insurance for your taxi, coach, truck, minibus and more. Our cover will help keep your business on the road.

Call for a quote on 0344 346 1418 or request a quote online.

About the author

Chris North FCII, commercial vehicles insurance articles author Chris North FCII is a respected industry leader with over 40 years' experience, who has worked in the insurance industry in a variety of roles, accumulating a wealth of knowledge. He is currently Technical Manager for Towergate's motor division, providing expertise on all matters relating to motor fleet insurance, in particular haulage and self-drive hire fleets.

This is a marketing article by Towergate Insurance.

Read other commercial vehicle articles

ice cream van full

Guide to Specialist Commercial Vehicle Insurance

Specialist commercial vehicle insurance can help to put your mind at ease if you run into trouble while operating your ice cream van, party bus, catering truck, or any other...

View article
Truck Insurance Guide

Truck Insurance Guide

Read about the most common truck insurance features and exclusions in our product guide, and find out if you need to take out a policy.

View article
crash-for-cash-scams

Civil Liability Bill Could Reduce Truck Insurance Premiums

Government research indicates that since 2005 motor personal injury claims have risen by around 40% despite road accidents having fallen by nearly 30% during the same period.*...

View article
Vehicle Safety Systems

Vehicle Safety Features to Reduce Your Insurance Costs

With roads growing busier and distractions growing greater, keeping drivers safe and insurance claims down is increasingly vital for transport operators. Read how new vehicle...

View article
Occupational Road Safety

Reduce the Risk: Occupational Road Safety for Your Vehicles

Placing occupational road safety at the heart of the business is crucial for vehicle firms. Learn how to create the right occupational road safety culture to ensure your fleet...

View article