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Digital Tachographs

January, 20 2004

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The arrival of Digital Tachographs will herald one of the biggest changes to the road haulage industry for many years. As a result of European Directorate 1360/2002, from 5 August 2004 all new vehicles that require a tachograph will be fitted with digital tachograph vehicle units.

Currently most vehicles over 3.5 tonnes and half of all buses and coaches in the European Union (EU) use paper tachographs. The digital tachograph cards will be similar in size to a photocard driving licence or credit card and will incorporate a microchip capable of storing information for up to 28 days. The sort of information it will store will include a driver's hours, rest periods, distance and speed travelled.

DVLA will be responsible for the production and issue of the digital cards in the UK.

What types of cards will there be?

There will be four types of cards:

  • Driver Card ? this is personalised and is for use by the driver. It will record data such as the driver's hours and rest periods. A bi-lingual version of this card will be issued to drivers who live in Wales.
  • Workshop Card ? this is for use by accredited workshop technicians and will be use to calibrate the on-board vehicle units.
  • Control Card ? this is for use by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) enforcement officers and the Police to enforce the scheme.
  • Company Card ? this is for use by the owners of qualifying vehicles and will allow them to ?lock off" and download their company's data. A bi-lingual version of this card will be issued to companies registered in Wales.

Accredited workshop technicians will be able to apply for a workshop card via VOSA. They can be used from 5 May 2004. This is three months earlier than the driver and company cards to allow time for workshops to fit and calibrate the vehicle units into the cabs. Nonaccredited workshop technicians will not be able to apply for workshop cards.

Driver cards and/or company cards will be available from DVLA, three months in advance of the implementation date of 5 August 2004. Applications, therefore, may be received from 5 May 2004.

Application forms will be available from DVLA local offices, VOSA testing stations and DVLA Swansea from January 2004. A fee will be payable for the driver and company cards. Fee information will be publicised from the end of February 2004.

Article by Pamela Phillips, taken from DVL Today - Issue 25 - Reproduced under Crown Copyright

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