The driver card (credit card size with an embedded microchip) is crucial to the whole system. Issued by the DVLA, each card is unique to each individual driver and carries their identification information and other essential data.
The digital tachograph card has the capacity to store relevant data on driving and working times, breaks and rest periods covering at least 28 days’ worth of data. Once the recordings are made, it becomes the driver’s legal record replacing the current (analogue) tachograph chart. The driver card data must be downloaded at least every 28 calendar days.
The card itself is designed to be tamper-proof and the authorities to prevent fraudulent issue; use and transfer of such cards have established strict regulatory systems. Data must be recorded and stored on the driver card in such a way that falsification is not possible.
Warning: It is illegal to drive a vehicle with a digital tachograph if a card has not been issued to the driver. A vehicle can only be driven without a card (for a maximum of 15 calendar days) if the card has been lost, stolen, damaged or has malfunctioned.
How much do they cost?
Driver cards are available from the DVLA for £32. For more information, call the Tachograph Smart Card helpline on: 0300 790 6109.
It is the driver’s responsibility to safeguard their own card ensuring that it is not damaged, lost, stolen or used fraudulently by another person. Replacement cards cost £19. A card that has malfunctioned will be replaced free of charge.
The company card
The company card does not store any information. It is simply a key that enables the operator to:
• Lock the company in and out of a vehicle’s tachograph to secure its data
• To access data from the VU memory
• To access data from the driver card (although it is often quicker to download the data using a driver card reader)
• To display, print or download information from the VU using a suitable download tool
The company card can be obtained from DVLA for £32. Replacement company cards cost £19. A company may have multiple cards.