Important information for digital tachograph holders

FTA has clarified important details and advice for operators and drivers who have experienced digital tachograph card problems. These problems mean that a large number of digital tachograph cards issued between 24 March 2007 and 31 August 2008 are malfunctioning. When affected cards are inserted, digital tachograph units display an error 48 (driver and company cards have either expired, are not yet valid or the authentication has failed), even though the card has not reached its expiry date.

What you need to do

  • If you or your drivers have already reported the driver or company card(s) as malfunctioning to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), either by telephone or by applying for a replacement, you should receive a new card(s) soon. You do not need to take any further action
  • If you or your drivers have not applied for a replacement driver or company card(s), you do not need to take any action. DVLA has identified the affected cards and will automatically issue a new card(s) to the address shown on their records. Replacement cards will be issued as soon as possible. The Agency will include a letter with the replacement card(s) explaining what you need to do with the old card
  • If your or your drivers’ card(s) are due to expire, a reminder to renew will be received and this should be completed in the normal way. Drivers should continue to complete manual records until the start date of that card
  • International operators with affected drivers expecting to begin international journeys beyond the 15-day period should contact the FTA Member Advice Centre on 0870 60 50 000 for further advice

How drivers' records are affected

Legislation allows vehicles to be driven without the lost, stolen or damaged card for a maximum of 15 calendar days, or longer in order for the vehicle to return to its premises, provided two printouts are provided – one for the beginning of the journey and one for the end. These printouts must contain details that enable the driver to be identified (name, driver card or driver licence number), the driver’s signature, together with manual entries detailing other work, periods of availability and breaks or rest.

Because it is likely that the large number of replacement cards needed will not be returned to drivers within the 15-day period, DVLA has agreed with the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) that no enforcement action will be taken against drivers with malfunctioning cards until a replacement has been issued – but manual records, as detailed above, will be expected to be kept, accurate and available for inspection. VOSA has contacted its enforcement counterparts in Europe to ask that the same arrangements be put in place for UK drivers holding these cards.

Operators should ensure that any affected drivers have sufficient tally rolls available to comply with legal requirements of producing two printouts every day. It is important to include all data taken from printouts in your drivers’ hours analysis. FTA analysis provides this facility and members using Tachofta should contact their usual tachograph point of contact or call the FTA Member Advice Centre on 0870 60 50 000. 

Tally rolls can be purchased from Shopfta

Need more information?

If you are an FTA member and have a query regarding this topic, or need more information, contact our Member Advice Centre

Member Advice Centre