Who the DVLA are
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, perhaps better known as the DVLA, is the governmental organisation responsible for monitoring drivers and vehicles within Great Britain. The DVLA is responsible for the provision of driving licences, the collection of vehicle excise duty (car tax) and authorisation of private numberplates, among other things.
The DVLA essentially have fingers in most motoring pies, as they also deal with issues such as vehicle registrations, consumer concerns, importing and exporting vehicles and other such issues.
When you purchase or construct a new vehicle, you will need to register as the owner with the DVLA, and keep the relevant details up to date if they should change. This enables them to keep track of vehicles within the country, permitting greater knowledge of who is driving what around our roads.
The vehicle and driver registers are actually applied in many ways to ensure that adherence to the law is maintained. For example, vehicles which are not taxed but are seen driving on the roads can be identified by the DVLA based on their numberplates and the owner can be penalised. Likewise, those who enter London having neglected to pay the appropriate congestion charge, or those who exceed speed limits and are photographed doing so, will suffer the consequences due to the DVLA’s extensive database.
Their register of vehicles, along with the introduction of Vehicle Identity Checks, has also helped to reduce crime by ensuring that it is more difficult for criminals to denude a vehicle of all identifying marks, assign it the identity of an already-destroyed vehicle and sell it on. This is done by ensuring that records are kept up to date and that markers are set on the files of those vehicles to prevent their identity being stolen for illicit uses.
The headquarters of the DVLA are located in Swansea, with a Local Office Network consisting of smaller subsidiaries all around Britain. If you’re looking for the address or contact details of your local DVLA office, our website provides a comprehensive listing of DVLA contact details and addresses.
If you have a car or have any designs on joining the hallowed ranks of motorists in the future, dealing with the DVLA is inevitable – they are essentially the gatekeepers of the motoring realm.
There are many means by which you can interact with the DVLA. Some renewals and applications can be done online or over the phone – however, the more complex transactions will often call for you to fill out a form and send it by post, or find a Post Office with the power to authorise certain undertakings.
While the DVLA do monitor penalty points on driving licences, they do not, in fact, possess the legal power to impose these points – this is done at a magistrates court.
To summarise, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency is an ever-growing organisation which seeks to join up the various procedures and processes involved in administering the many vehicles which make their way across Britain’s roads every day and night.