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 to make sure 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 stay open for all to view.
The card will also allow you to download the information from the VU so 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 Regulator.
How to apply for a company card - first application
Companies from the whole of the UK can now apply online at GOV.UK for their first Company Tachograph card. The paper service is no longer available for company card first applications.
If your card is malfunctioning you can now apply online at GOV.UK and you must return the faulty card to Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA). Instructions on how to do this can be found within the online service. 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 to check that the error being displayed on the VU is a code about 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 send 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.
Before returning your card to DVA you should try to download any data it may contain.
Exchanging your company card
To change the name/ address on your digital tachograph card(s) you can now apply online at GOV.UK.
To change your details only one card requires changing, you can continue to use the rest of your existing cards as normal.
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 send a reminder up to 90 days before your card is due to expire. You can now apply online at GOV.UK to renew your company card(s).
You will need to make sure 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 making sure the renewal of your digital tachograph company card(s) before the expiry of your existing card(s).