Whether you are driving a company car or not, if your job involves any vehicle travel at all your employer has a duty of care to ensure you are qualified to do so and that you are safe when you do.
As part of this responsibility, they may need to check your driving licence. This guide will explain everything that you as a driver need to know about the check, and what it could mean for you.
Can My Employer Check My Driving Licence?
Yes, your employer can check your driving licence but most will not do this without getting permission from you to do so first, as they require details from you in order to complete the checks.
As we've mentioned they have a responsibility for your safety and they need to know that you are qualified to drive the vehicle you are required to use as part of your role. It is important that if you are required to drive as part of your job or are provided with a company vehicle your employer checks your entitlement to drive before you drive and regularly throughout your employment with them to ensure there have been no changes to this.
Why Will My Driving Licence Be Checked?
As mentioned above your employer has a responsibility to ensure that you are safe in every aspect of your job and the roles required to complete it. If you need to drive a vehicle as part of your job then they will need to check you hold a valid licence for that vehicle.
If you are provided with a company vehicle to operate, even if it is a company car that you predominately use for personal journeys and travelling into and out of the office, then your employer will also want to check your licence then. Again, this is to ensure you hold a valid licence for the car and are qualified to drive it.
Although this may seem unnecessary to you it is important that your employer completes these checks as part of their responsibility and compliance processes.
What Does a Driving Licence Check Involve?
The first thing that the checks will do is to confirm you hold a full, valid driving licence.
If you need to drive a particular transmission type or vehicle then they will also check that you are qualified to do so. For example, if your licence is only for automatic vehicles but you have been assigned a company car with a manual gearbox then you will not be qualified. Similarly, the checks will be looking to confirm you are legally able to drive a van, minibus or other vehicles that requires additional qualifications or licences.
These checks will also look at whether you have received any points on your driving licence or driving related convictions. This information will not be used to penalise you, but you may find that some employees ask you to complete additional training if there is a particular area of concern.
What Happens If I Have Points on My Licence?
As mentioned above, if you have points on your driving licence then your employer will be made aware of this.
It is up to the individual company how they respond to this, but you should not be penalised for any driving points.
Some companies will use this information to see where there are areas of concern across the business and put together additional training to help reduce the risk. For example, if they discover several drivers have received points for speeding then they might require employees to complete some additional speed awareness training.
How Can I Check If My Driving Licence is Valid?
You can check your driving licence yourself via the government's portal which will show you what vehicles you are entitled to drive, any endorsements you have and allow you to share your driving licence data with a third party such as your employer.
You will not usually need to check your own licence unless you are looking to see if you are able to drive a vehicle or need to get an additional permit, or are looking to see if points have expired and are no longer on your record.
How Will My Licence be Checked?
There are two methods that your business may use to check your driving licence.
The first is a one off check, which requires you to access your driving record online to produce a one-off code that you will then need to provide to your employer along with the last eight digits of your driving licence in order for them to complete the necessary checks.
You can access this service here and also check your driving record yourself via this portal.
As mentioned this is a one-off code, and it will only be valid for 21 days from when you produce it.
As most companies are required to complete driving licence checks at least annually they will usually go for the second option, which is where they take additional details and permission from yourself and are able to regularly run checks on your driving licence for a set period. This set period will usually be for a term of three years.
You will always need to provide consent for your licence to be checked, and if your employer checks it without your permission using information they hold on you then this will be a breach of GDPR and data compliance regulations.
How Often Should a Driving Licence Check be Performed?
Your driving licence will usually be checked when you first join the business and then the frequency after this can vary depending on your employer.
We advise most businesses to check their drivers' licences annually but if the employee's role involves driving as an essential part of it then checks should be run more frequently, such as quarterly. This is so that any changes to a driver's entitlement or any endorsements they have which could impact their ability to perform their role are picked up as soon as possible.