Licence change teething problems
New car-hiring arrangements following the abolition of the paper part of the driving licence have run into predicted first-day teething problems.
The new scheme means those needing to give details of their driving record in order to hire a vehicle need to access information from the website of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) website.
But the AA reported that a number of its members had had problems with the site and had also been stumped by the need to supply a national insurance number.
The BBC said one car hire firm in Bristol had reported it had a queue of 20 people waiting, as staff struggled to access their details online, while another operator nearby "had a queue of customers out of the door".
The paper counterpart to the licence contained a driver's record, including offences and endorsements.
From today d rivers needing to show their driving record to car hire companies will need to have viewed their licence information online and to have generated a check code so details can be shared with third parties.
The AA was one of a number of organisations fearing the change would bring difficulties.
Today the AA president Edmund King said: "There have been problems for some of our members. We have heard that a number have found the DVLA website very slow.
"Another problem is the need to give a national insurance number. People travelling abroad and hiring vehicles could well not have this number to hand. We are pushing for a change on the website, so people are asked for their passport number instead."
The DVLA acknowledged that some drivers had had problems with its site.
DVLA chief executive Oliver Morley said: "We are currently experiencing exceptionally high demand for this service.
"We are aware some customers are experiencing issues with the website and we are working very hard to resolve this as quickly as possible. We are sorry for any inconvenience."
The changes that have been introduced today affect drivers in England, Wales and Scotland.