From 8 June 2015, the photocard licence counterpart will not be valid and will no longer be issued by DVLA. When DVLA stops issuing the counterpart, you may destroy yours but you still need to keep your current photocard driving licence. Entitlements, endorsements and the status of your driving licence won’t change and can be checked online.
Paper driving licence holders (those issued before 1998)
These will remain valid, and should not be destroyed. From 8 June 2015, endorsements will no longer be recorded on these driving licences. This information will be held on DVLA’s driver record, and can be checked online . The next time you need to update your name, address or renew your licence, you will be issued with a photocard only.
On 14th January 2015, the DVLA released details in answer to a Freedom of Information Act request - "DVLA hold details of driving licence holders in Great Britain only. As of 30 September 2014, there were 45.5 million active driving records in GB."
Download a spreadsheet of the male / female breakdown here.