Digital tachograph company cards

The company card is a plastic card similar in size to a driving licence, with a microchip in it. It is valid for a period of five years and is used solely for the control and monitoring of digital tachograph information stored within its digital vehicle units.

What does the company card record?

Like the analogue tachograph, the digital unit records driver activity times - driving, other work, rest and breaks. However unlike the analogue, which records only to a record sheet, the digital units will record to the driver smart card and also hold the information in the Vehicle Unit (VU).

The company card allows you to ‘lock’ data recorded in the VU (tachograph) to prevent another operator looking at the data. You need to do this in order to ensure you protect the personal information of you and your driver(s), and details of work patterns and times from competitors. This would become important if you were to sell a vehicle or use a hire vehicle.

For the system to work however, the data needs to be ‘locked in’ to your company before you start operating the vehicle and then ‘locked out’ when your use has finished. It is not possible to ‘lock in’ data retrospectively and that data would remain open for all to view.

The card will also allow you to download the information from the VU in order that you can carry out checks on things such as drivers’ hours and rostering, as required by the legislation, and to maintain records described in the undertakings of your Operators’ Licence issued by the Traffic Commissioner.

How to apply for a company card

In order to apply for a company card you’ll need to:

  • complete a D779(NI) Digital Tachograph company card form, which may be obtained from an MOT test centre or by calling 0300 200 7861
  • submit a fee of £32.00 payable by cheque or postal order for each card requested
  • send all to:
Digital Tachographs
Driver Licensing
County Hall
BT51 3TD

Replace lost, stolen and damaged cards

To apply for a replacement card you need to:

  • complete form D779(NI), ‘Application for a digital tachograph company card’
  • submit your application to us along with a fee of £19
  • return damaged card

Malfunctioning cards

If your card is malfunctioning, you must return the faulty card to Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) along with a completed application form. Before you do this you should check that it is your card that is not working properly.

Checking your card has malfunctioned

Before returning your card to DVA you should confirm your card is at fault. You can do this by:

  • referring to your Vehicle Unit (VU) manual in order to check that the error being displayed on the VU is a code relating to a card error
  • trying your card in another VU that you know is working correctly  

A fee is not normally required. However, if you do not submit your malfunction card with your application, or if your card is damaged, a fee of £19 is required before your replacement card can be processed.

Please note: before returning your card to DVA you should attempt to download any data it may contain.

Exchanging your company card

To change the name/address on your digital tachograph card(s) you need to:

  • complete form D777(NI), ‘Application for a digital tachograph driver card’
  • include at least one company card with your application form
  • Include a fee of £32.00 per card

Please note: to change your details only one card requires amendment, you can continue to use the rest of your existing cards as normal.

Send your application to,

Digital Tachographs
Driver Licensing
County Hall
BT51 3TD

Once produced your exchange card(s) will be sent to the company address that you noted on your application form.

Renewing your company card

DVA will issue a ‘Application to renew your digital tachograph company card’ D787(NI), up to 90 days before your card is due to expire. If you do not receive a reminder you can use ‘Application for a digital tachograph driver card D779(NI), which may be obtained from an MOT test centre or by calling 0300 200 7861.

Please note: You will need to ensure that you apply for a renewal at least 15 working days before the expiry date on your company card(s). On expiry you will be unable to lock-in, lock-out or download data. Expired cards do not need to be returned to DVA.

You, as the operator, are responsible for ensuring the renewal of your digital tachograph company card(s) prior to the expiry of your existing card(s).

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