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Driver Licence Verification – What You Need to Know

Making sure that all HGV drivers hold a valid licence represents a fundamental duty for fleet managers. In this article, we examine the licence verification process – a key step to having a coherent team of drivers that works within the law. Verification needs to be observed for reasons of road safety and company reputation.

Understanding the Importance of Licence Verification

One of the main reasons why verifying the licences of your HGV drivers is important is abiding by the laws in the UK and the EU. It’s the best way to ensure that every one of your drivers is eligible to drive specific categories and types of vehicles.

Another is road safety, with verification ensuring that no driver is ever allowed to head out onto the road without being qualified and potentially cause an accident.

Lastly, when all your drivers are always properly licenced, you avoid gaining a reputation as a lax operator that doesn’t carry out the necessary steps and puts public safety at risk through their negligence.

What’s Involved in the Verification Process?

The first part of verification is to take copies of each driver’s licence to check that it’s both current and valid for the trucks they’re assigned to drive. A good resource to use for this task is the DVLA’s driver licence checking service that allows you to confirm a licence’s validity and look for disqualifications/endorsements.

It’s an ongoing process, as continuous monitoring needs to be carried to ensure licences remain valid. By keeping a constant eye on licence statuses, you can catch any penalties/points the moment they occur.

Implementing Your Verification Process

When you’re managing a large fleet of trucks, manually checking every driver’s licence can be time consuming. That’s why you might consider giving the job to an external agency, so that they can keep tight control over ongoing licence checks.

However, if you choose to do things in-house, there are a number of aspects that you can implement to make things easier.

Digital Record-Keeping

By maintaining a digital database of all your drivers’ licences containing details such as expiration dates, endorsements and restrictions, you’ll immediately be able to see when action needs to be taken.

Scheduled Verification

Based on the information you hold in your database; you should also create a schedule for periodic licence verification. Reviews should especially be planned in the lead up to renewals or following driving legislation changes.

Training and Awareness

Both managers and drivers need to be up to speed with regards to the ins and outs of the verification process and why it’s carried out. That’s why training focused on the subject should be delivered regularly to fill in any knowledge gaps and account for any updates to the rules.

Licence Verification – Much More Than a Tick-Box Exercise

Keeping on top of whether your drivers’ licences are valid is far more than just a tick-box exercise. It represents a non-negotiable in terms of making sure the safety of everyone (including other road users) is protected. When you stay organised and implement the necessary steps, this important transport management task becomes much easier to carry out.

About the author

Jonathan Gilder

Jonathan Gilder

Head of Training and Transport
Jonathan is a distinguished NRI HGV Instructor accredited by RTITB, with certifications in IOSH Managing Safely, RTITB Lift Truck Instruction, and ROSPA Assured PAT Testing. His expertise extends to EdI Level 3 NVQ Assessing, Btec Level 2 in Transportation of Goods by Road, and he is a skilled Trainer in Driver CPC and Incident Investigation from GH Safety.

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