My DVLA Online Vehicle Registration Experiences

The Vehicle Licence Application form for the Golf turned up in the post today, however since the last time we taxed a car, it seems that the DVLA have taken a step forward. Rather than have to go and queue up in a local post office to get a tax disc, the envelope and renewal form were plugging the chance to pay your car tax online.

It has to be said that in typical fashion the URL they are putting all over the renewal document is currently wrong – producing a ‘Document contains no data.’ error. However it looks like this is only a problem with the redirect, a bit of digging around located, which is the site itself. ( is the central site for government services, but it is really just a collection of links to the individual departmental sites.)

Anyway, the one obstacle I thought there would be to an online service is that the trip to the post office to tax a car has a second purpose, which is for someone official to check that each vehicle has valid insurance and if over three years old, has passed it’s MOT test. However these checks are actually done automatically during the online process by checking details against the Motor Insurance Database run by the Motor Insurers Information Centre to combat the problem of uninsured drivers, and the MOT details can be validated as a result of the new computerised MOT testing processes.

It’s a lot quicker, and is also available 24 hours a day. Essentially all you need to do is type in your reference number or car registration number, select 6 or 12 months tax, and type in a debit card number, so no more queues in the Post Office at lunchtime for me!

69 thoughts on “My DVLA Online Vehicle Registration Experiences”

  1. Hi,

    I’ve fallen fowl of the “tax an insuarnce expire on the same date” issue. Also the “yellow box of doom”.

    I talked to a human by calling 0870 240 0010 (its on the back of the V11 renewel form, but in the small print), for all the good it did my. I did get an email address to “complain” to however…

    [email protected]

    Here’s what I sent:-

    Subject:- Catch 22 situation wrt car tax renewel


    When I bought my car last year I took out car tax and insurance starting on the same date, 1st April 2006.

    I have recently renewed my insurance by phone (2 nights ago), but have yet to receive my insurance certificate, and my attempts today to renew my car tax by phone or internet have both failed (because your systems have no record of my insurance renewal).

    I’m in a classic catch 22 situation where I can’t pay my car tax without you being sure I have valid insurance, and I have no way of demonstrating that I have valid insurance.

    I’ve just contacted your call centre on 0870 240 0010, where I talked to an extremely nice chap about this issue.

    I explained my situation to him and he advised me to try to pay my car tax again in 24 hours. He further suggested that if by 1/04/07 I still hadn’t managed to tax my car then so long as I kept it off the road I’d be granted a 14 day grace period in which to pay my car tax but If I used the car I would be at risk of prosecution…

    This does seem rather unfair in that I am potentially being denied the use of my car, and yet still being made to pay tax for those days when I am denied usage.

    Clearly as my tax and insurance will both be renewed annually I’m going to be in the same situation each April 1st for many years to come.

    I’m sure I’m not the first person to be in this particular position, and wondered what steps are being taken to put in place a more satisfactory solution?

    It strikes me the root of the problem may be electronic data interchange, something I know a bit about as I work as a consultant database administrator.

    Would the DVLA be interested in procuring my services to help with this issue?



  2. In response to Julian above, there’s a very simple answer to this supposed problem – you can apply for a tax disc up to 15 days in advance of the start date, so the obvious thing would be to purchase it while your current insurance certificate is still valid. I’ve done this with a cert that was due to expire at midnight the same date, and it was fine – as long as it’s valid at the time you purchase the tax disc.

  3. i have a qustion if anyone buys tax disc online, but disc will come in post within five to six working days will anyone suggest that would it be legal to drive the car without displaying the disc.


    1. If you tax on line you get 5 working days where you are exempt from displaying a tax disc as stated when you purchae tax on line

  4. As Danny already posted..

    ‘No you can’t drive your car,as it is an offence to keep a vehicle or drive a vehicle on a public road which is not displaying a valid tax disc,even if you’ve paid and are waiting for it to arrive.’

    Try to read all the postings before asking a question.


  5. Actually Declan if you try to retax your car 15 days before tax runs out and your insurance runs out before start of new month as well, post office won’t accept it because insurance doc is technically invalid for the day that the new tax disc starts. I’m going with Julian on this one, mega mega stress trying to sort this out, so the car’s going to be off road until new disc comes (after issue of new insurance docs recieved). Answer to prob is to buy 6 mo’s tax this time, and then in 6 months buy 12 months, therefore leaving 6 months until new insurance cert is due. Argh. Stressy or what.

  6. The whole process is very inconsistent. I have a number of classic motorbikes. Some can be renewed on-line and some can’t. No obvious reason as to why this happens.

    Although, not as bad as DVLA’s more recent cock up of renewing my car tax. I moved recently and updated all my vehicles at the same time. However the address for my car was entered incorrectly and now I have no way of renewing my car tax with only a few days til the end of the month. DVLA says it will take 2 weeks to sort out! No car and a possibility of a huge fine. DVLA were very unhelpful and the ‘helpdesk’ person I spoke to resorted to sarcasm! Unbelievable. Thankfully his supervisor was more professional in his approach and admitted that the reality was the system wasn’t all it should be. Surprised? Not really. Oh well, where’s my cycle clips?

  7. Thanks for the correct web site. I had just spent ten minutes looking for the right page to renew my car tax when I stumbled upon your page. Using the link you provided I had no problem renewing. Why couldn’t they make it easier rather than us relying on ‘Joe Public’ to help us? Anyway many thanks. You have saved me a lot of time.

  8. Cant understand why DVLA havnt sorted this mess out,I too had problems renewing both my wifes can and my own,using the website in the famous yellow box,but when I went onto this site,both went through in a flash,mine dropped on the mat two days later,as a goldern oldie,God knows what will happen next year when I reach my three score and ten.

  9. I just wanted to second an earlier post about declaring SORN online – don’t do it!

    I also declared my second car SORN using the DVLA site and some weeks later received a letter demanding I pay a £40 penalty plus back tax.

    I was also told i had cancelled the sorn declaration part way through, which is total rubbish! Why would I have done that? My sole purpose in visiting the DVLA website was to declare SORN.

  10. Complete waste of space!!
    There’s a hundred different things pop up when you connect and I couldn’t get anywhere with any of them. Whoever set this site up must know as much about computers as me!

  11. Yes, I too have had my run ins with that God almighty cock-up at Swansea.
    A year or so after SORN started they sent back my SORN, stopped sending reminder notices and sent a letter denying SORN was required for a classic van I own. So next year I did nothing and got a fine, I ignored it and it went from £40 to £80 and I still ignored it. Same again thro’ to year 3. Things went then quiet (after all I held an official document saying NO SORN required). The next year it all started up again, £40 then £80. Then the threats and finally the Court papers, which I still ignored. Finally a letter from a Judge no less, arrived asking me why I was not paying up (as he said, I was so obviously guilty of a heinous crime). I filed a defense saying that I had my NO SORN letter from Swansea.
    This must have caused half of Wales to consider suicide ‘cos they wanted my letter back, like yesterday. No way, the Judge got a copy, I then recieved a long convoluted letter from a desperate to save his job flunky with a high foluting title, saying that they are not obliged to send reminders – their documents say otherwise – another letter soon followed from the Court saying “go sit in the naughty corner” send in a SORN form in future and forget the fines.
    Treat ’em with the contempt that they deserve I say.

    Wait for it, they obviously haven’t learned, I bought & paid for my insurance – 3rd. year on my other van – on the 20th of this month, got the cert next day. Today is the 28th. and the wonderful glorious DVLA website has just refused my online application due to “NO valid insurance recorded”. A check with my insurer assures me that the problem is at YOU KNOW WHERE, S W A N S E A


  12. well they are at it again.I thought the dvla had got it right as I have several vehicles (two classics) I always tax them a.s.a.p. after the 15th as per the reminder.I had even told others how good it was. This time I have tried to retax my camper van and was refused on the grounds of no insurance, I contacted the insurance demanding to no why I am not insured. It is 11 months old on this certificate and the fee for next year is paid already.” it is” he said, “check on and you can see for yourself”. so do I have to carry a lap top with me in case I am stopped for No insurance?
    I had better make sure, and tax the van at the post office then photostat the insurance certificate to keep with me.
    john 17/2/2008

  13. I got on to the website no probs.
    The only confusing point is that the web site asks for the reference number in the big yellow box. This is incorrect. The number you need is under your address. Your reference number is a 16 digit number. Put this in it found my car paid by card all done no probs. it took longer to write this than to do it. ONE finger typist!!!! good luck.

  14. I had a problem with taxing a new car recently.
    I phoned the DVLA and was rewarded with some of the best service I have experienced from a “menu” type helpline in a long time.
    I was given clear and friendly advice, no “ifs” “ands” or “buts” and the call resolved the difficulty I was having in about three minutes.
    No offence to anyone, but the best thing was I could understand the person who answered.

  15. actually it is ok if you want to re tax a car but if you only tax a car part of the year it is rubbish. this is because you cannot tax the car in advance so if you want to tax your car today the 31st july you will have paid for tax for the past month from 1st july. If you wait till tomorrow you will only pay from the 1st August although stricly speaking you cant drive the car till the tax disk arrives. so you loose five days.
    they have you which ever way!

  16. I think you’ll find it’s a reference number AND registration number..hence it only works for renewals and not for recently acquired vehicles where the log book/registration certificate is not available for various reasons ( ranging from lost or a category D vehicle…? 4 weeks’ delay at DVLA ? 6 weeks’ delay…to a reregistration from a personal reg. …6 weeks’ delay ) . Applied on 21/08/09 and still waiting ( they’ve had my money since 4/09/08 needless to say )… Have now paid 1 month’s insurance and 1 month’s MOT for nothing.Meanwhile the people who have no intention of taxing ther vehicles continue to clog the roads up !!!!!

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