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Driver Smart Card: Every driver wishing to drive a vehicle fitted with a digital tachograph needs to use a digital driver card. This card records data in much the same way as a paper tachograph chart but in a different format. It will record driving time, other work, POA and any daily or weekly rest periods.
Data is stored on the card for 28 days after which it may be overwritten. It is therefore important that driver cards are downloaded at least every 28 days by your employer. Drivers, who do not have a driver card, cannot drive a vehicle which is fitted with a digital tachograph. Driver cards can be obtained by contacting the DVLA on 0300 7906109; an application form from a DVSA station or via DVLA licencing offices (or download from the DVLA website). Please remember that if you do have a driver card and you forget to take it to work, you will be unable to drive any vehicle fitted with a digital tachograph.
Driver cards are valid for 5 years and drivers are only allowed to hold 1 driver card. Drivers, whose card is due for renewal, are generally notified to the drivers address by the DVLA in good time, to allow continuation of use. It is therefore important to keep your address details updated with the DVLA.
If a driver card becomes faulty, drivers should inform their supervisor and send the faulty card with a renewal to DVLA immediately. Once the faulty card has been received by DVLA a new card will be issued free of charge.
If a card is lost or stolen it should be reported immediately to your supervisor and to the DVLA within 7 days. If the card is lost/stolen abroad it should also be reported to the competent authority of that country. Drivers can continue to drive a vehicle fitted with a digital tachograph for a maximum period of 15 days. This can be done by taking a print out from the vehicle unit at the start and end of each shift. You must print your name and driver card number (or licence number) on the reverse and record driver activity on the reverse of the print out (the same way as with a paper tacho, if the tacho failed).
Drivers are expected to be able to do a print out on request at the roadside for DVSA, or the Police and should therefore ensure that there is enough digi paper for this. It is recommended that as well as the roll in the printer, drivers should carry at least 1 spare roll.
Digital tachographs are here to stay and drivers who use them on a daily basis find they are much easier to use than analogue. The team at GB Tachopak are here to help with all your questions, remember there is no such thing as a silly question.