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.

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 (calls cost 51p per minute), to check the driver’s details. 

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