RAC Cars News


Union Flag To Appear On Driving Licences

By raccars Published

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Driving licence photocards are to include an image of the Union Flag in future, according to transport minister, Claire Perry. The government believes UK citizens are patriotic about their flag and that displaying it on driving licences will strengthen the national identity.

An image of how the licence could look with the Union Flag was released, showing that it will appear alongside rather than instead of the European Union flag, which is currently displayed in the top left hand corner of UK photocard driving licences. The new arrangement will be included on English, Scottish and Welsh driving licences but no start date has yet been confirmed.

This is only the latest in a series of announcements surrounding vehicle and driver licensing regulations in the UK. On 1 October 2014 the paper tax disc was abolished in favour of a digital system, a move which saw some chaos, as the DVLA website crashed under the onslaught of online applications. The move was further criticised as it appeared that a number of UK car owners were uninformed about the changes to the system, which included the end of the transference of a remaining tax period to the new owner upon selling a car.

Later in October, the DVLA announced that driving licence fees were to be reduced. The 32% cut in the cost of licences has seen the price of a first licence go down by £16 to £34 and renewals by £6 to £14 for those applying online. Motorists applying online will benefit from cuts of 15%. Driver tachograph cards were also reduced to £32 from £38.

The transport minister claimed that reducing the cost of obtaining a licence would help to save British drivers £18 million annually and help to get new drivers on the road.

In June of 2015, British drivers will also be able to tear up their paper licence counterparts, as the DVLA is to stop issuing these in favour of a photocard only system. The paper counterpart is rarely used except by car hire firms cross checking photocard licence details, a process which is to be replaced by an online database to which licence holders can allow businesses access.

While most of these changes have come into effect as part of a massive cost cutting exercise by the DVLA, the appearance of the Union Flag on licence photocards at this stage appears to have been motivated only by patriotism.

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