Brits will need a DVLA code to hire a car in Algarve from 8 June

If you're planning to hire a car in Algarve or Portugal or in the UK you may need to show a code from 8 June, as the paper counterpart of photocard driving licences is being replaced with a new online system that day.

Faro airport car hire check dvla licenceThe DVLA’s plan to scrap the paper part of your driving licence could lead to problems at Faro airport car hire desks this summer for Brits who haven’t planned ahead.

From June 8, UK drivers will be obliged to carry only their photocard licences. All the additional information currently held on the paper counterpart driving licence, including any points or endorsements, will be held on the DVLA’s own database and will only be able to be checked online, by phone or by post.

If you are visiting Portugal want to hire a car in Algarve, you will have to register with the DVLA in advance by logging on to the DVLA website, entering your driving licence number and obtaining a code that you can then give to the car hire company instead of the paper driving licence.

However, that code is only valid for 72 hours so if you aren’t picking up a hire car as soon as you get to Faro airport, you might have to log onto the website while you’re on holiday to get a new code.

Drivers will also be able to download a PDF of their licence, which will be worth taking as a precaution, but they will still need a code as well. Some Faro car hire companies do currently ask to see the paper counterpart of your photocard licence to  check for any points and fines. So it's likely they will continue to check, but via the online system, from 8 June.

Alternatively you can give permission for the Faro car rental company to contact the DVLA and check the details over the phone when you get there, but beware of any international call charges or extra service costs this could rack up.

However, DON'T destroy the traditional paper licences that were issued before 1998. I can be useful.

At we advise all UK drivers that are thinking of coming to the Algarve after June 8 and need Faro car hire or Algarve car hire to check the DVLA service that allows all customers and car hire suppliers to access the DVLA records live and view the information required.
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