Steve Parsons/PA Archive
From January 1, the counterpart driving licence will be axed. Following in the footsteps of the tax disc, the document is to be made redundant as the DVLA moves driver details onto an online system.
However, there are fears that the system will not be ready in time for the New Year switchover, leaving drivers facing delays and queues.
The DVLA has already issued a warning to motorists that fraudsters were capitalising on the potential for confusion, by sending emails asking drivers to click a link to verify their driving licence, which could potentially lead to having their personal data stolen.
Drivers looking to hire a vehicle could be particularly badly affected, as the paper counterpart licence, which records details of driving endorsements and disqualifications, is used by car hire companies to verify a customer's details.
The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) warned that it is unlikely to have access to the new online system in January, meaning car hire companies will have to ring the DVLA's premium-rate number to check driver information – increasing costs and delays for drivers.
However, drivers with older paper-only driving licences may continue to use them. They will be gradually phased out with drivers issued with new photocard versions when they come to renew their licence or update their name or address.
A DVLA spokesman told the Daily Mail: "We want to make it as easy as possible for motorists and businesses to access government services. Getting rid of needless bits of paper and making changes to free up drivers' time is all part of our commitment to get rid of unnecessary red tape."