What is the DVLA? 

The DVLA is also known as the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and is a government ran executive agency sponsored by the Department of Transport.

A big part of what the DVLA does is connected to the issuing of driving licences and car registrations with it being responsible for over 50 million driver records and more than 40 million vehicle records.

VED or vehicle excise duty is a tax paid by motorists which is collected by the DVLA to help fund public road work and maintenance.

If you are entitled to a car tax refund it is the DVLA that will calculate and repay your VED refund.

A tax rebate for mileage expenses (if you use your own vehicle for work) is managed and paid by HMRC which is a separate government department.

What are DVLA Registrations?

DVLA registrations gives you the opportunity to buy a personalised number plate for your vehicle.

You are given access to millions of car registration options which you can buy from the DVLA to use on your vehicle instead of registration that comes with your vehicle.

Personalised DVLA registration auctions are held by the DVLA via live venues and online. Live venue events are held three times a year with timed online auctions typically taking place six times a year.

DVLA and your Driving Licence

As a driver a driving licence is a legal requirement and the DVLA administers the driving licence system for the government.

It manages everything from your provisional driving licence to renewing and publishing a new licence if you’ve lost it.

Your driving licence is unique to you and includes a photo of you, your date of birth, address and DVLA references.

A standard driving licence lasts for ten years at which point you need to renew it and pay for a new one.

The government prefer you to renew your driving licence online with a paper option available by post and at the post office.

DVLA Renew Provisional Driving Licence

A provisional driving licence is the first driving licence you will have and is something you need to apply for directly with the DVLA.

You must be at least 15 years and 9 months of age and be able to read a number plate from 20 meters away.

The quickest way to renew your provisional driving licence is online which you can do for reasons like your licence has been lost, damaged or stolen.

When you pass your driving test your provisional driving licence will be replaced by the DVLA with a full driving licence.


Over £7 billion worth of vehicle excise duty is collected by the DVLA each year which is used by the government to fund road maintenance and repairs nationwide.

Car tax is not optional and all vehicles including company cars qualify for a VED charge with the fuel type and car list price value effecting how much you will need to pay.

Some vehicles like electric cars which are zero rated do not currently need to pay VED. This is expected to change in April 2025 with all vehicles needing to pay vehicle excise duty according to their VED rate band.

VED Car Tax Refund

Vehicle excise duty can be refunded in some cases and the DVLA will refund the overpaid VED to you after you have claimed.

A VED car tax refund can be claimed for the following reasons:

  • You are transferring ownership of you car.
  • Your are selling your car.
  • Your car has been stolen.
  • You are taking your car off the road and not using it also known a sorning.
  • You are scrapping your car.
  • A modification has been made to your vehicle.

You use our car tax refund guide to find out more about car tax refunds and how to claim back your overpaid VED.

DVLA Check

A DVLA check can be performed so you can find out what information the DVLA holds about a vehicle.

It is a free online service provided by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and all you need to start is the vehicle registration number.

The DVLA check gives you the following information about a vehicle:

  • Year of manufacture.
  • Engine size.
  • Fuel type.
  • Emission data including CO2 levels.
  • The current VED rate.
  • MOT expiration date
  • Sorn status
  • Date of first registration
  • V5C log book issue date
  • Weight

How to contact the DVLA

The DVLA has many departments which have different contact details both online and offline.

We cover the majority of the most common reasons why you would need to contact the DVLA below.

DVLA vehicle excise duty (car tax):

For VED car tax enquiries you can use .GOV online for car tax.


DVLA by phone:
Telephone: 0300 790 6802
Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm
Saturdays, 8am to 2pm

DVLA driving licence enquiries:

For driving licence including provisional licences you can use .GOV for driving licences and applications.


DVLA by phone:

Telephone: 0300 790 6801
Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm
Saturdays, 8am to 2pm

DVLA V5C log book enquiries:

DVLA V5C log book enquiries can be made at .GOV for vehicle registration and V5C certificate log books.


DVLA by phone
Telephone: 0300 790 6802
Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm
Saturdays, 8am to 2pm

DVLA medical issues:

For DVLA medical related issues you can contact .GOV online for DVLA medical issues.


DVLA by phone:
Telephone: 0300 790 6806
Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm
Saturdays, 8am to 2pm

DVLA sharing your driving licence data:

For enquiries regarding the sharing of your driving licence information you can contact .GOV online for sharing driving licence information.

DVLA driving and theory tests:

For driving licence and theory tests you can contact .GOV online for driving tests and theory tests.

DVLA MOT requests:

For MOT test and other MOT related requests you can contact .GOV for MOT questions and data.

All other DVLA enquiries:

If the reason for contacting the DVLA is not mentioned above you can use .GOV to search for what you are looking.


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