DVLA simplifies vehicle tax regulations

This change is part of a package of new measures announced this week by Britain’s Roads Minister Robert Goodwill. The measures are aimed at making life simpler for UK motorists by reducing unnecessary red tape.

The changes, which come into force from 16 December 2013, also mean that motorists will only need to tell the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) once when they declare their vehicle off the road.

At present, when motorists want to declare a vehicle off the road they make a Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN), which needs to be renewed every year.

Without a SORN any vehicle, whether it be new or even if it is an older used car or used van model must be insured. This rule applies in Britain even if a vehicle hasn’t been used by anyone for a long time.

Motorists who are registered as owners of an uninsured vehicle are sent reminder letters and those who take no action can be given a £100 fine and possibly face court action.

Last year, around four million SORNs were made, with over one million of those representing repeat renewals.

With new measures announced however, the need to constantly repeat notifications will no longer be needed.

Following the announcement of new measures, the Road Minister, Robert Goodwill, explained: "We want to make it as easy as possible for motorists to access government services."

Goodwill added: "Getting rid of needless bits of paper, making changes to free up motorists’ time, while saving money for the taxpayer, is all part of our commitment to get rid of unnecessary red tape."

The move to make motoring insurance checks easier has been made possible since the DVLA regularly checks existing databases for insurance under Continuous Insurance Enforcement rules. The DVLA’s records are compared regularly with the Motor Insurance Database to identify registered keepers of vehicles that have no insurance.

The Chief Executive at the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), Ashton West, commented: "Motor insurance remains a legal requirement and these changes recognise the value and importance of the insurance records held centrally on the MID.

"The introduction of Continuous Insurance Enforcement in 2011 was always designed to provide a more robust and technology driven solution to ensuring that vehicles have insurance in place."West added: "The successful introduction of the new process by the DVLA and the MIB has enabled these changes to be made now, which will bring benefits to millions of motorists."