a simple guide to getting it right when buying insurance
Driving Licences have come in many shapes and sizes over the years and were a paper licence a few moons ago and without a photograph on it. They were originally brought in under the Motor Car Act 1903, prior to that there was no licencing requirement. Even at this point there was no driving test and you could buy your licence at the Post Office for 5 Shillings (25 Pence). The Act did bring in penalties for dangerous driving though.
Between 1903 and 1930 driving licences were issued by your local authority or borough and there was a variety of designs and sizes. The 1930’s saw the introduction of the Road Traffic Act (RTA), bringing in the requirement for compulsory insurance, driving age restrictions and a test for disabled drivers!
No photo on the licence itself posed some problems; with people taking driving tests on behalf of other people as there was nothing to identify who the licence belonged to. The Police used to try and catch people out by asking the “licence holder” their date of birth as it was not stated on the licence. The licence number is made up of the first five letters of your last name (possibly some random ones for those who’s surname’s are shorter than 5 letters), and then your date of birth as follows (YMMDDY) for example if you are John James Smithers born 10th December 1950 your licence number would be SMITH512100JJ9MV incorporating your surname, date of birth and initials plus some random numbers and letters at the end to differentiate you from all the other J J Smithers born 10/12/1950. Therefore, the Police could catch you out if you didn’t know the date of birth or weren’t aware of how the licence number worked!
Licences are now issued with a photocard and up until 8th June 2015 you would have been issued with a counterpart licence (paper part) with your photocard licence, to show any endorsements and what provisional entitlements you might have.
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