Category Archives: DVLA News

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Guidance: INF106 – How to import a vehicle into the United Kingdom (UK)

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Source: DVLA Related News

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Our first cross-government hackathon – to get stuff done

Driving on a country road

I recently attended, along with 5 of my colleagues, a Department for Work & Pensions cross-government hackathon with teams from the National Health Service, Home Office (DWP), HM Revenue & Customs and Government Digital Service.

Do the right thing for citizens by breakingConway’s Law’

 As DVLA’s drivers medical service designer, this theme was close to my heart. I wanted to find out if we could improve working together across government. I also thought it would be beneficial for us to understand other government department services similar to our own.

Armed with the right knowledge, good attitude and lack of time, a hackathon allows everyone to get involved and ‘think outside the box’. It also allows you to come up with new ideas. Even the lead-up to the hack was intuitive – SLACK was used to create a cross government community – so we all pitched in ideas in advance.

What we wanted to achieve

 Our aim was to bring together the skills, knowledge and experience of delivery teams across government. This was to fix the broken experiences of our citizens (customers) and civil servants who need to communicate with multiple government agencies just to get stuff done.

We were asked to pitch something new and exciting to complement cross-government services. The idea could be anything. It could be product-related, a business objective or even a change of process. We also had a chance of winning ‘best hack of the day’. For this we needed to showcase an innovative solution providing a ‘big win’ or solve a ‘thorny’ problem for use in any government agency.

A hackathon forces innovative thinking and gets people excited and interested

We split into teams and once we had a clear steer on what we needed to produce, the generation of EPICS and user stories started to develop, with each member of the team assigned tasks to support the product.

Hacking continued throughout the day, with very little respite – even working through lunch (thankfully pizza was ordered, which went down well).

Two products were created with our involvement in a cross-government blended team

1. ‘Government agent requests further data from health care professionals’. This is a drivers medical service using 4 platforms across government to complete a service. This lets a customer notify us of a medical condition online, completing the relevant questions and using GOV.UK Verify (which authenticates who they are, as part of the process).

The GP would then be prompted to complete the customer’s notification through a DWP platform SerVe. In turn, the customer would receive updates (SMS and email) informing them of their GP’s progress and actions using GOV.UK Notify. Also, the service would then automatically pay the GP for completing the assessment.

2. ‘Citizens submit documentary evidence digitally’. This is an ‘upload’ service where our customers can upload a document or image to support their application. ‘Upload’ could be built and used across all government departments allowing customers to supply documents digitally.

Built into the service will be technology to check and update the quality of the image to reduce the need to reject applications. The service could be integrated with multiple government platforms including GOV.UK Verify and GOV.UK Notify. Using multiple platforms allows customers to take pictures with their smart phone and simply transfer the image.

We were all winners!

 It was a unique hackathon. The judges recognised all the themes complemented one another and could be used to create a cross-government service. Some quotes below from my colleagues:

 Liz Whitfield from DWP said:

 “I have taken part in hacks before and I am always awe struck by what can be achieved in such a short time frame. The cross government hack allowed us to look at delivering better services for our customers from a fresh perspective. I am really excited to see where this will go.”

Paul Green, Drivers Medical Service Support said:

“I was most impressed by the attitude and motivation of those present to get the job done – 5 products created in a day!”

 Donna Saunders Business subject matter expert said:

 “It was nice to learn that we are all in the same boat and are trying to come up with changes that will help all of our customers transact online to make our processes faster and more efficient.

Elliot Ward, Developer said:

“It was a really rewarding day. Breaking down the boundaries that we all work within allowed us to create an example cross-government system, combining technology from each of our agencies and showing what is possible when an emphasis is placed on working together.”

We all walked away with something tangible and agreed that it was a great opportunity to transfer skills and learn from one another.

Please see DWP’s blog for further insight in to the day.

Source: DVLA Blog News

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DVLA is a Digital Leader

DVLA cleaned up at the 2016 Digital Leaders 100 awards ceremony scooping the Digital Public Sector Innovation and the overall Digital Leaders 100 Award. I attended with colleagues from Drivers Services Management team, proudly representing the agency.

To give a bit of background about the nominated service: On 8 June 2015, the driving licence counterpart was abolished and the digital version launched. Customers using this service can now view, share and check their driving licence without the hassle of an extra bit of paper.  The launch of this service marked the culmination of months of hard work from the team at DVLA and to date, more than 1 million customers a month are using the service.  Our digital services are built on saving customers time and this is exactly what this service does.

Share Driving Licence was the nominated service in both categories – this part of the service puts the customer in the driving seat and enables them to share their details, easily and safely.  This is a massive achievement for the whole team and everyone who has worked on the service from across the agency. We were in good company in this category competing with the Home Office, Surrey Council and The Metropolitan Police.

The team and I who worked on the service were sitting alongside our Chief Executive Oliver Morley and Non-Executive chair Lesley Cowley, all with bated breath waiting for the anouncement – we won!  Walking up to get the award with everyone was an amazing experience – it went by in an excited blur and then it was straight into an interview with Computer Weekly magazine.

The evening ended on the highest of highs when we were announced as the winner of the overall award, Digital Leaders 100.  This catapults DVLA to the top of the digital leader tree and it’s an accolade that we are immensely proud of.

That’s not the end though – as I said in my last blog, we continue to look at customer feedback to improve the service and offer even more value to our customers.  Watch this space.

Source: DVLA Blog News

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DVLA's new Chief Technology Officer needs you!

Dave Perry blog

I’m Dave Perry and I’ve just started my new role as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at DVLA.

My road to DVLA

I have worked in IT for 25 years, in a variety of different roles across a broad cross section of technologies and industries – from retail, pharmaceuticals, tech, government, IT consulting and latterly as UK IT Director for Game Digital. This agile delivery environment also included a large loyalty programme, wallet payment services, digital code distribution and API integration to third party multi-national organisations such as Sony and Microsoft. I also spent time working for the Metropolitan Police during their recent transition to a SIAM model.

The opportunity

I am hugely excited to be joining DVLA, working with such a great team and having the opportunity to continue the exemplar work that DVLA has already carried out on its digital transformation journey. The potential to touch virtually every household in the UK is a fantastic challenge and one that I welcome.

I’m particularly excited to be leading a high-performing team that already has a great reputation across government for innovation, rapid digital delivery, breaking into new technologies and new delivery models. DVLA has a new approach to IT delivery within government and plays a key part in building and growing a fresh digital community right here in Swansea.

DVLA is currently leading the way on delivering digital services for government and has been at the forefront of supporting the delivery of government IT strategy for a number of years; more recently, with in-sourced IT skills and capabilities. The Digital Economy Bill states, “Make the UK a world leader in digital provision – a place where technology ceaselessly transforms the economy, society and government.” This is what DVLA is doing by creating opportunities in IT and building quick and easy services for our customers.

And that’s where you come in

Over the next two years we will continue to build new digital services, designing them from direct customer engagement and getting off our legacy systems onto new, cloud-based platforms using emerging technologies. This is an exciting and challenging opportunity for anyone in the IT and change delivery sectors. The size, complexity and richness of our IT estate is difficult to match, as is the variety of customers we engage with, both corporately and through front line services.

We need skilled, enthusiastic and innovative staff to join our in-house teams to help us continue our digital evolution. We’re investing over £2m into ensuring we get the right people for the job and are committed growing the digital economy, locally and beyond.

If we’re talking your language, take a look at these roles and grades we’re currently looking for across our IT Directorate:

  • Software Engineers
  • Infrastructure Engineers
  • Solution Architects
  • Cyber Security Specialists
  • Technical Architects
  • Project Delivery & Support

We want experience, but we also relish investing in people; helping them learn, grow and evolve into high-performing individuals and teams.

Interested? Then come and join us!

Source: DVLA Blog News

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New ‘pay a DVLA fine’ service launching soon

In my last blog I mentioned our new online enforcement penalty payment project which is currently in private beta. I am pleased to report that the service, now named pay a DVLA fine, has passed its GDS assessment and will soon launch in public beta.

Pay a DVLA fine tablet FINAL

At the moment, customers who get a penalty because they haven’t taxed their vehicle or declared it off the road (SORN) can only pay their fine by calling our Contact Centre, or by sending us a cheque or postal order. Our new pay a DVLA fine online service will give them the option of paying it quickly and easily 24/7.

And with well over 1,200 customers having used the service so far in private beta, it’s already a success. In fact, more people have been choosing to use the digital service rather than paying over the phone.

The service came about after DVLA’s first ever hackathon, where DVLA colleagues came up with the winning idea of ‘Pay your fine online’. Successfully bringing the service to this stage has been thanks to colleagues working together from across different parts of the Agency including insight, design and developers.

By making it easier for our customers to pay their fine, it means further enforcement action is less likely, customers are able to pay any vehicle tax outstanding and it reduces the number of calls taken by our Contact Centre. Our long-term aim is to add more vehicle-related penalties to the service and encourage more digital take-up.

Source: DVLA Blog News

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Personalised registrations online: our service is quicker than ever

It’s now quicker than ever to take off or put a registration number on a vehicle online.

You can now download the electronic V948 proof of entitlement certificate (eV948) to the registration number immediately.

What does this mean for customers?

You’ll no longer need to wait for the vehicle registration certificate V5C (log book) to arrive in the post.

Downloading the eV948 will allow you to get your number plate made up quicker with your nearest registered number plate supplier (RNPS).

What else do you need to know?

The eV948:

  • is valid for 3 working days from the date of issue – an electronic timestamp will be printed on the certificate
  • can only be used once
  • needs to be supported with all the necessary supporting documents when you go to get your number plate made up at the RNPS

PR Blog - forms

The RNPS won’t accept a certificate that’s expired. If the certificate expires you’ll need to wait for the V5C (log book) to arrive in the post.

We’re still listening and acting on your feedback

It’s down to you that we put in place these changes so thanks to all of you who provided us with feedback.

We had an excellent start to our Personalised Registration online services last year and this year we’ve seen our Personalised Registrations increase by 18% on the previous year.

We still need to know what you think!

We still need your insight for our user research – it’s more important than ever that you keep telling us what you think so we know what you want!

In the meantime if you have customers who want to know more about the work we do, get them to subscribe to our email alerts.

Source: DVLA Blog News

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Building digital capability

One of the rewarding aspects of developing new services is seeing our internal capability grow. It’s one of our main principles in DVLA.

Developing our capabilities is allowing us to build a unique culture which is digital by default, confident and focused on you, our customers. It also means we can continue to build excellent services. To do this we’ve been working together with customers, local businesses, suppliers, and universities, to help design and develop our digital services. Our online penalty payment service, currently in private beta, is one example.

Using our skills and capabilities

Understanding our current skills and capability lets us draw on the talents of individuals within our digital talent pool. We’ve been developing our staff with the skills they need to take on challenges we’ll face in the future. Dan, our UX trainee, is relishing the experience and his blog gave you an insight into how he’s using the skills he’s learned to develop prototypes on related services like our tax your vehicle service.

Our pay a vehicle penalty team…

In the last few months we’ve started to welcome new people into our team. People like Mike Dawson and Suzanne Godrich who are software and solution developers.

building capability - 20160509_114129

Here’s what Mike had to say…

Suzanne and I were given our first user stories to work on. They were small, simple changes to help us become familiar with the software and processes needed to release a change. My change needed an email type keyboard to be provided to customers who use a mobile device when entering email addresses.

Sounds simple? Think again. My first guess at the change necessary was to simply change HTML input tag types to “email” in the relevant form fields. I followed the project’s development workflow guide, made my change, tested and submitted it for review. The review highlighted that default browser error messages could be displayed, when we already had routines to do this. I spoke with developers on the team, made the change (to add ’novalidate’) which was accepted and moved ready to test in preview. After setting up this change, I tested my local changes using a smartphone on a private network.

This helped me understand how to identify changes scoped into a sprint, and where they are in the process. I also now know how to get a change coded and reviewed by my colleagues. Because it was only a HTML change I didn’t need to create a unit test or document the change. I expect a more involved change would have needed more testing.

I’m looking forward to my next piece of work.

As Mike has illustrated, we’re continuing the process of building our team and developing our capabilities to maintain the new payment service into public beta and into the future.

Building our digital capability will ensure more people than ever continue to use our digital services. Keep an eye out for future updates.

Source: DVLA Blog News

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More people than ever are using DVLA’s digital services!

What a year it’s been! In the last 12 months we have seen more of you choosing to use our digital services.

We’re committed to building seamless, easy to use and cost effective digital services to  suit our  different customer needs.

VDR Show_Share_11

You’ve told us that our services are quick and easy to use

We know we needed to get your insight and feedback to ensure your digital service experience right the first time and statistics show you agree! This helps us get the right drivers and vehicles licenced, registered and taxed and on the road, as simply, safely and efficiently as possible.

Reducing our online driving licence fees has encouraged more than 4 million customers to apply for a driving licence online – 32% up on this time last year with 70% applying for their very first licence online!

Over 33 million of you taxed your vehicle online – 5% up from last year and over 10 million people have taken the opportunity to spread the cost of their vehicle tax by taking up our new direct debit service, saving valuable time and effort.

What a difference a year makes!

New car sales picked up – meaning we received over 3 million first registrations via our automatic first registration and licensing (AFRL) system. More dealers are choosing to use AFRL – with demonstrations to McLaren, Renault Trucks and TurfCare helping to drive home (excuse the pun) the benefits of using our digital services.

March saw our Electronic Driver Entitlement Checking Service draw to a close – before this, enquiries were up 15% on the previous year and we expect to see similar enquiries raised via its replacement, the Access to Driver Data service, in the next financial year.

We’ve seen record sales of our Personalised Registrations – totalling over £100 million – an increase of nearly 18% on the previous year.

The volume of customers using our View Driving Licence service has also continued to grow to over a million users a month through 2015/16.

We had an excellent start to our Personalised Registration online services last year and our new vehicle management services are sure to follow suit, with nearly 30% of customers choosing to tell us that they sold a vehicle online. By using the digital service, any refund of tax can be paid within days instead of weeks, and if you pay tax by Direct Debit, it is cancelled immediately. We’ll let you know via this blog, how these services continue to grow.

And finally, our Vehicle Enquiry Service has received nearly 300 million requests for vehicle information – that’s up over 320% on last year’s figure –  we don’t need any more proof to provide you with an application program interface (API).

We’ll be introducing more digital channels this year so will encourage more customers to transact with us digitally – simplifying our existing services to make them even easier to use is also a priority. Introducing digital channels is helping us to make significant cost savings which we pass onto you, our customers.

Please continue to tell us what you think – your feedback is vital

We do listen and make changes. Even the smallest of tweaks can improve a customer’s experience of using our digital services – and it’s great to know we’re making a difference.  Thanks for using the services and here’s to the next 12 months!

Source: DVLA Blog News

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Vehicle Enquiry Service (VES) redesign

Hi, in my first blog I talked about my new role as a Vehicle Enquiries service designer. It’s been four months now and I’m learning more each day about our users’ requirements and when they’re most likely to use the Vehicle Enquiry Service (VES).

get vehicle information from

I’m constantly looking at ways to improve VES because our aim as a business is to make the service even simpler for customers to use. We’ve already learned that users would like links to tax a vehicle if they use the service to check their tax and find it’s expired. We’re also reintroducing the export information to the vehicle details list, as some of you have asked for.

Customer insight sessions at UX@DVLA  

To help us improve the service, we’ve started some customer insight sessions at the lab.  It was the first time for me to observe an insight session. I was really impressed with the facilities that we have and the professionalism of our insight team.


We interviewed 5 users and asked them to navigate to find VES. Most of them took a few attempts, so we’ll work with GDS to see where we can make improvements. We were able to demo two prototypes of VES which were developed using insight that we’d taken from other sources of customer feedback eg surveys. Most of the feedback suggested that they liked the new prototypes because they were easier to follow and gave information in a simpler way.

I felt proud and satisfied when I could see they liked the new service and that the work we’d put in so far was appreciated by our customers.

The main message we’ve tried to get across since the abolition of the vehicle tax disc is that tax is no longer transferable when a vehicle is sold ie that the tax doesn’t come with the car or whatever vehicle it is. It seems that this message isn’t always clear and not everyone is aware of the changes. So we plan to make this stand out more on the service.

VES and developing an Application Program Interface (API)

We currently have a project underway to look at a Vehicle Service Design API. At the moment it’s still at the discovery stage.

We’ll be launching a survey in the coming weeks, if you use the service during this time, don’t forget to complete the survey. I look forward to receiving your valued feedback.

In the meantime if you’ve any suggestions about vehicle enquiries please post a comment or email

Happy enquiring!

Source: DVLA Blog News

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Share Driving Licence goes live

Yesterday (Monday 11 January) our Share Driving Licence service moved from beta into live. This won’t change the user experience, but it does signify that it has successfully passed the 18 service standards for government digital services hosted on GOV.UK.

The benefits

Our online service provides:

  • up-to-date information – accessible from anywhere where there’s an internet connection or access to telephone
  • better and safer licence checking for third parties – saving nearly half a million drivers every year from having to pay £20 to replace a lost counterpart.

The challenge

Our challenge was to develop a service that allowed third parties, such as, employers, rental companies and driving instructors a way of checking appropriate driving licence details from the 45 million driving records held on our database.

We explored several concepts of how this could be done before arriving at a solution to ensure the driver remains in control of who they share their driving information with. This involves the driver generating a check code from within the View Driving Licence service, and the third party redeeming the code to access the record summary via Check Driving Licence.

Getting to this stage represents several months’ worth of user research, iteratively developing the service from prototype screens to the full live service. The team worked tirelessly to transform user’s thoughts and actions into working software to give the best user experience possible.

During the 9 months of beta we carried out 29 rounds of usability testing, observing users in real life scenarios navigating their way through the service.  We also analysed over 69,000 comments from user’s feedback.

We used all of this information to continue to make improvements – all the way up to go-live.

Since the launch of the public beta in May over 7.9 million records have been viewed with 3.3 million sharing codes created and over 1.2 million licence checks completed.

What’s next for the service?

Further usability testing is planned and we’ll be talking to and visiting the companies who took part in our private beta to gather further insight and improve the service. Sessions like these allow us to design our services to be the best they can be.

Keep an eye on our blog for updates and service improvements.

Source: DVLA Blog News

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