In the UK, when you apply for driving license, you receive two licenses. One is a piece of credit-card sized plastic, with your photo and the key information for someone to tell you are person 'x' with driving credentials for the vehicle you're driving. They're also useful for proving how old you are when you try to buy an age-restricted product (beer/movies/games etc).
The other item is a piece of paper, with more detail and also any endorsements, for example, being pulled over for speeding and given a ticket.
The latter is also incredibly easy to lose, at least for me. The last two times I've moved, I've lost mine. This used to mean you needed to pay for a new license, if only because you wanted to hire a car or van.
Now, the British government has abolished the paper license to make it all available online.
If you have a habit of losing your paper license - like me - you don't have to worry anymore
You can give a car rental place a special "code" to check your license against
You have to prepare before renting a car/van etc as you have to request the code - it isn't instantaneous
More details can be found at the DVLA website.