All you need to know about tachograph cards – rules and responsibilities

December 4th, 2018

As a professional HGV driver, you are obliged to use an approved tachograph. Tachograph card monitor your hours behind the wheel as well as your and company compliance with the rules, especially when it comes to taking breaks, speed limits and the distance travelled. You obviously need your tacho card to keep all the required records. But do you know what rules and responsibilities are lying behind your tacho card?

First of all, you, as a driver, are responsible to always have the card on you. It’s your responsibility to keep it up to date with your personal details (name & address). You also need to keep it safe and report any damaged, lost or stolen cards as well as apply for new ones and renewals and pay any fees. Keep it clean dry and free from dirt, grease and oil to make sure it works properly. Do not leave the card visible in your vehicle, for example on the dashboard.

Should you always have your tacho card on you?
YES! You cannot drive without your tacho card. It’s an offence to drive a vehicle equipped with digital tachograph without having your valid tacho card on you. The operator can and will send you home if you forget your driver’s card.

So, what should you do when you forget your tacho card?
You should go back and get it! Remember to let the company you are working know if you are going to be late. It’s better to be late than sorry. Forgetting your card might happen to anyone, just like forgetting your wallet or phone. Remember that without your card you will not be able to work-disappointing yourself and your operator.

What if your card has been lost, stolen or damaged?
• You must inform DVSA as soon as possible, as well as your employer and operator.
• You must apply for a new card immediately, which will cost you £19 unless you are applying for a replacement for a faulty card. If there are no changes to your details, you can apply by phone
on 0300 790 6109
• You are allowed to drive without tacho card up to 15 days but will have to keep manual records. The DVLA is required to issue you with a new card within 5 working days, so this should not be a problem.
• You must take a hardcopy printout from your digital tachograph at the beginning or end of each journey, and record your name and DL number on the back of each page
• If your card has been stolen you should also report it to the Police.

What to do if your tacho card isn’t working properly?
You need to return it to DVA along with a completed application form. Before applying you should check that it is your card that is not working properly. A fee is not normally required. However, if you do not return your malfunctioning card with your application a fee of £19 is required before a replacement can be processed. Before returning your card to DVA you should attempt to download any data it may contain.

Do you have to apply for a new tacho card if your details changed?
If you are a GB DL holder you only need to update the address on DL details as this will automatically update your digital tacho record. If you are EU DL holder or/and changing your name you need to fill in the D777B(DL) form and send it to DVLA.

How to renew your driver card?
You should get a reminder form from DVLA before your tacho card expires. If not, you should use ‘Application for a digital tachograph driver card – new photo not needed’ (D777B(D/L)
Make sure you apply for a renewal at least 15 days prior to the expiry of your current card and the ability to record information is lost. Keep hold of your old card for 28 days as you might need it at a roadside check.

For more digital tachograph driver card information read the DVLA leaflet.

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