As a fleet manager or employer, it’s essential you check the driving licences of any employees that will be driving one of your company vehicles. Failing to do so could result in an employee being behind the wheel illegally, which can lead to fines and other penalties. Or worse, it could be the cause of a road traffic accident.
To check an employee’s driving licence, however, you will need their permission or consent.
Information contained on an employee’s licence is classified as personal data. The Data Protection Act 1988, which was replaced by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018 states that consent must be given by the licence holder for anyone to access their information.
The Importance of Complying with GDPR in Fleet
GDPR, or the General Data Protection Regulation, is a set of data privacy and security laws put forward by the European Commission. These laws and regulations were put into effect on May 25, 2018, and replaced the previous Data Protection Directive from 1995.
Breaching GDPR regulations, which include accessing DVLA records without the consent of the licence holder, is a fineable offence. It’s important to note that GDPR covers a lot more than just accessing and handling driver information.
As a fleet manager, some of the other day-to-day aspects of your business that are affected by GDPR include:
- Fleet management systems
- Understanding all the nuances of what data you should be securely processing and how you should be handling that data can become quite complex.
The easiest way to ensure you’re operating your fleet and handling your data in compliance with GDPR is to use a fully-compliant fleet management software like FleetCheck.
Handling all driver and fleet data
GDPR defines personal data as; “any information which are related to an identified or identifiable natural person.”
This means, you need to properly handle and store any and all data pertaining to your employees, customers, clients, and other stakeholders of your business within GDPR regulations.
How Consent Is Defined Under GDPR
To comply with GDPR when checking your drivers’ licences, it’s important you understand what is meant by ‘consent’.
In GDPR regulations, consent is defined as:
- Consent must be “freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous.”
- Requests for consent must be “clearly distinguishable from the other matters” and presented in “clear and plain language.”
- Data subjects can withdraw previously given consent whenever they want, and you have to honour their decision. You can’t simply change the legal basis of the processing to one of the other justifications.
- You need to keep documentary evidence of consent.
How to Check Drivers’ Licences While Complying with GDPR
You can check a driver’s licence by asking them to visit the Gov.uk site, but it’s a time-consuming process and really only ideal for a one-off check.
Using the Gov.uk method, you rely on a driver visiting the site and filling in some of their personal data. They will then be given a Check Code to pass on to you. This Check Code is essentially the driver giving you consent to check their driving status and licence details once. You have to repeat this process every time you want to make a check, for every driver individually.
The easiest way to check your drivers’ licences and stay on top of checking licences with minimal administrative work while being 100% GDPR compliant is by using FleetCheck LicenceAssured.
An alternative method of checking a driver’s licence that is a lot quicker and more convenient is using FleetCheck LicenceAssured.
To use FleetCheck LicenceAssured, all you need to do is obtain consent from your drivers either electronically or on paper, which is then valid for up to three years, and the consent record can be stored securely with the LicenceAssured software.
You are then permitted to check their driving licence details whenever you feel necessary. This is particularly useful for checking on high-risk drivers periodically, or setting annual reminders so you never forget to check the eligibility of your drivers.
If you’re currently relying on using the Gov.uk website to perform drivers’ licence checks or don’t have a robust system in place to check your drivers’ licence that you are confident is 100% GDPR compliant, FleetCheck LicenceAssured is the best solution.