The new driving licence card design explained
From 19 January 2013 all driving licences issued by Driver & Vehicle Agency will be in a new format. Old format licences will still be valid and will be updated gradually as they are renewed and replaced.
The new style driving licence design explained
The new style licence card will look different to the current licence. Although it will continue to display all entitlements to drive, additionally on the back of the card, those vehicle categories that the holder cannot drive will be crossed through. This will make it clear which categories are valid for driving and which are not.
Who does this affect?
This will affect all drivers - existing and new. All driving licences issued with entitlement starting on or after 19 January 2013 will be in the new format.
Front of driving licence
The front of your driving licence will record your:
- first names
- date and place of birth
It will also include:
- your driving licence number
- the vehicles you are entitled to drive
- an electronic copy of your photograph and signature as supplied at the time of your application
Licence dates and issuing authority
The date shown in 4a is the date your licence was issued and the date shown in 4b is your licence expiry date. Dates on the front of the card are displayed as DD.MM.YYYY. The authority that issued the licence is shown in 4c. In Northern Ireland this is Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA).
Entitlements to drive
If you hold a full licence, any provisional entitlement you hold will be shown on the paper counterpart of your licence.
If you hold a provisional licence your provisional entitlement will be shown on the front of your card.
The photograph will be shown on your driving licence card as a black and white image, because the secure printing process employed in producing the licence, uses laser technology to burn the image onto the card.
A colour photograph will still need to be provided with your application to be stored on your driver record.
Back of driving licence
Entitlements and Category Validity periods
The back of your driving licence card will list all the vehicle categories you can and cannot drive. All categories the holder can drive will display ‘valid from’ and ‘valid to’ dates in columns 10 and 11. Any categories the holder cannot drive will be crossed through.
Information/ Restriction Codes
The code numbers printed in this area shows any restrictions to the vehicle categories that you can drive.
Section 12 at the bottom of the card can be used for additional restriction codes. Generic codes such as eyesight and hearing restrictions will be shown first followed by the additional restriction codes specific to each category.
The driving licence counterpart explained
All driving licences are accompanied by a paper counterpart.
The paper counterpart will contain your provisional driving licence entitlements, driving offences and other relevant information.
If you hold a provisional driving licence, all your provisional licence entitlements will be displayed on your driving licence card.