Recent research by motoring organisation the AA is alarming. Their survey indicated that 1 in 650 drivers are on the road while disqualified from driving, and 1 in 300 have a driving licence which has been revoked for some reason, or which has expired. These figures highlight the critical importance of regular driving licence checks by any employer who has members of staff with driving responsibilities. Checking driving licences ensures that employers are complying with their legal duties, and making sure their insurance policies are valid too.

Managing a fleet, whether cars, vans, lorries or trucks, needs careful checking of employees’ driving licences. Employers must ensure not only that a driver has the correct category entitlement of their licence, but also to find out about any points they have on their licence, or indeed, whether they have a licence at all in the first place. These checks usually fall under a company’s health and safety obligations and the rules don’t just apply to people whose primary job role is driving, but to anyone who has access to a company vehicle as part of their work.


What Employers Need to Do

Employers must first identify which categories of driver they might have in their organisation. As explained above, the requirement for licence checking doesn’t just cover full-time drivers, but also people who have a company car or access to pool cars. Employers must check firstly that the driver has a full driving licence, and also that they have entitlement for the category of vehicle they are being asked to drive. This is particularly relevant for drivers of larger vans, trucks, and lorries.

There are many benefits to the employer of carrying out regular driving licence checks. These include:

  • Risk Reduction: running these checks makes it more likely that an employer will pick up when someone is being dishonest or trying to commit fraud.
  • Legal Consequences – not checking up on who is driving your company vehicles could result in fines under health and safety legislation if one of those drivers is later involved in a serious accident.
  • Insurance – corporate vehicle insurance policies usually have a clause about checking drivers, so if you do not comply, any claim may be refused.


Running Driving Licence Checks

Just requesting drivers to bring their licences for employers to look at is insufficient. An RAC insurance survey showed that 25% of surveyed motorists with existing penalty points failed to inform their employers about them. Failing to disclose penalty points could render an employee’s insurance policy invalid, costing the company large sums of money in the event of an accident.

Experts in this area recommend coming up with a strong and well-managed driving licence policy. This should include holding signed and dated copies of employees’ licences on record as this serves as protection for the company should something go wrong. It is also recommended to repeat the checks every year. If you feel that your particular organisation is at high risk, it may even be preferable to run checks every six months.