WITH GDPR approaching its third anniversary in May, driver and risk management specialist Licence Check is warning fleet operators that many drivers will need re-mandating to give permission to access their licence details with the DVLA.

Many businesses will recall the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on May 25, 2018, and the more onerous data checks the EU directive ushered in in the name of greater consumer protection and privacy.

For fleet and transport managers responsible for company vehicles, GDPR meant that it was necessary to re-mandate all drivers, vocational and otherwise, so that DVLA driver records could be accessed correctly using the updated authorisation necessary under the Regulation.

As we approach GDPR’s third anniversary, many companies will find that a significant proportion of their driver permissions will expire and need renewing this year. Latest Licence Check figures show a 200% spike in licence re-permissions in June which coincides with the introduction of the original GDPR.

The regulation remains relevant in this country despite the fact that the UK is no longer part of the EU following the Brexit withdrawal agreement. The principles of the EU Regulation have now been incorporated into UK data protection law as the UK GDPR so that all businesses remain bound by its provisions.

Those businesses that operate or offer goods or services in the European Economic Area may also need to continue to comply with the EU regulation as well. 

However, the good news for fleet operators is that, whereas at one time driver consent could only be obtained via a paper mandate and a wet signature, changes to the DVLA rules and increased automation has now introduced a growing number of methods of capturing digital driver authorisation which mean much lighter workloads for fleets.

Licence Check’s cloud-based DAVIS (Driver and Vehicle Management Solution) application  now offers five, and soon to be six, methods of capturing and recording driver permissions.

James Povah, Senior Developer at Derby-based Licence Check, part of the Ebbon-Dacs Group said that licence checking software has come a long way and many providers  now offerig several ways to obtain driver permission, most of which are fully digital.

“This can cut down administration time hugely for fleet operators and make what was once a truly onerous, time-consuming task much more straightforward, less stressful and increasingly efficient,” he said.

Licence Check General Manager Terry Hiles said that businesses needed to start planning now to ensure they gained new driver permissions before the current round expires.   

It’s important to prepare to re-mandate your drivers and get a good understanding of your driver data now so that you can plan ahead and avoid a last-minute rush before the existing permission expires,” he said.

“Use system generated reports that show exactly when the greatest number of licence permissions expire and plan accordingly. At Licence Check we are already working with clients on this and, are easily able to highlight those drivers whose permission is about to expire. 

“Renewing driver mandates no longer has to be a headache, thanks to increased digitisation and different operational methods.  It actually presents a timely opportunity to ensure all your driver records are reviewed and brought up to date and in line with the Regulation,” he said.

Meanwhile, Licence Link has assisted the NHS throughout the COVID-19 crisis introducing a new API for NHS Fleet Solutions, speeding up the driving licence checking process for employees.

With increased pressure on the emergency services, the API was introduced at the ideal time, vastly speeding up the process to check licences for key workers. Many public sector staff get their lease cars through NHS Fleet Solutions, so the API made the process much faster for all, eliminating rekeying between systems. Admin staff now only have to input licence data once – returning results quickly and seamlessly. 

With Licence Link, key workers can authorise checks to their licence electronically.