HC Deb 05 July 1972 vol 840 c538
14. Mr. Woodhouse

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce legislation to require every driving licence to carry a photograph of the licence holder.

Mr. Peyton

I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Keighley (Miss Joan Hall) on 8th March, 1972.—[Vol. 832, c. 1420.]

Mr. Woodhouse

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in a number of recent cases people who have been disqualified by the courts from driving have used stolen driving licences to hire cars, with the consequence that the firm or individual hiring out the car was deprived of insurance cover in the event of an accident? Will my right hon. Friend therefore carefully reconsider this matter?

Mr. Peyton

I have looked at the matter very carefully. I looked at it again when my hon. Friend tabled his Question and before I gave the reply. On the whole, I am satisfied that photographs would not prevent forgery or misuse of a licence. Moreover, if we implement the very helpful idea of licences which are valid for life, the purpose would be largely invalidated if photographs were to accompany licences, as unfortunately even Members of Parliament would need to renew their photographs because they change slightly in appearance.