As of today you no longer need the counterpart to your UK driving licence. The government has phased out the ancient "paper" technology in favour of taking things online.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has launched two new services that lets you check your driving licence details online, such as how many incurred points you have. What's really clever is that by logging in with your driving licence number and National Insurance number, you can create a "check code", which you can hand to someone else (say, an employer or car rental agency) who can then use the code to securely check your licence details.
According to ITV News, there are 46.3 million people in the UK who drive, 37.7 million of whom have the photocard with the now-unnecessary counterpart. No wonder the roads are so busy.
One of the most interesting changes from going digital – and good news for anyone who perhaps drives a little bit too fast – is that points are now removed automatically after they expire. With the old paper version, you had to remember and then manually apply through the post.
So feel free to take the paper counterpart to your licence, and torch it. In fact, that's exactly what the DVLA recommends you do with it.
Don't forget though, you still need the actual photocard part of your driving licence, so don't go burning that too!