Government Flags Change In Driving Licences

When was the last time you looked at your driving licence? Apparently it’s one of the two most used forms of identification used in the UK, along with our passports. News released today suggests that it will have a different look to it in the future - with Jubilee and Olympic celebrations giving us all a dose of national patriotism, the Government has announced that our own flag (or flags) are about to supplement the EU flag that features on our current plastic driving licences.

In 2015 new photocard licences will be introduced and these will contain a microchip that will make driver detail amendments such as changes of address easier and cheaper to process. The new cards will also feature either the Union Flag or the national flags of England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland and possibly the Royal coat of arms as well. Since first issued in 1998 under an EU Directive, photocard licences have had the facility to bear national flags as well as the EU flag but previous governments have decided not to do this.

Transport Minister Mike Penning announced a decision to change this in 2015, claiming that “When plastic licences first came in, Labour decided not to include a national flag...we are committed to including our national symbols because this is a Government flying the flag for Britain in every way we can”. So there you have it...your driving licence just became a political weapon!

Indeed our Prime Minister has gone even further, reminding us, in Douglas Hurd’s words, that people find the “European interference in the nooks and crannies of daily life infuriating”.

We asked 20 of our colleagues here at to take some time out from generating great car insurance quotes for the UK’s motorists and ran a survey. Only one driver in 20 was even aware, without looking at their card, that there was an EU flag on it. However, when we asked about the addition of our own Union Flag to the photocard, an overwhelming 80% (that’s 16 people to us non-statisticians) welcomed the move, claiming that it would be a good reflection of their pride in being British.

So how does it feel to have such an emotive piece of plastic in your wallet? We would welcome your thoughts!

21/06/2012 14:57:53 Eren

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