Digital Tax DiscDo you keep your full paper driving licence in your glove box? And your insurance certificate, in the same place?

Yes, thought so. And your tax disc? Is that stuck safely to the windscreen?

Good work!

But in years to come, your key driving documentation is set to finally join the digital revolution.

The government is keen to eliminate unnecessary paperwork for drivers, as part of their general overhaul of red tape.

It was a big enough deal when the driving licence became a paper and card affair, but we”re now talking about the driving licence being fully replaced by a card.

The photo-card is set to take over from 2015, at which point the paper version will be replaced.

The details of points and driving convictions will be held centrally and electronically. Such details will be accessible by interested parties such as car hire companies etc. So the days of having to send your licence to the DVLA for points to be added or removed, will be over.

New plans to use an electronic check of car insurance care also in development. At time of writing this blog (2013), no fixed date has been agreed to implement these plans.

There is some clear logic to this step, given that the police are already able to “look-up” our car insurance situation without necessarily needing access to the paperwork. If this is possible, why are we obliged to keep the certificate to hand for possible checks and for car tax renewal.

Finally, recent discussions have also indicated that the tax disc is set to go digital too – yes a digital tax disc!

The government have published a consultation which suggests that the digital tax disc is a future possibility. Similar to the capability with insurance paperwork, the police are able to access the DVLA database with plate-reading technology in order to determine the tax situation of a vehicle without checking the windscreen.

So why have it in the first place?

This been described as “the end of a motoring era” by certain motoring groups. Which it is!  However, I am all for keeping good traditions, but sorting my road tax is a pain – steps to make this simpler and quicker works for me.

But where does this leave the good old fashioned Post Office? Well there were fears that the Post Office would soon be set to lose its lucrative £450 million contract for dealing with road tax and driving licences. However, it has been reported that the public have picked up their pens and complained to politicians. As a result, the Post Office will maintain their contract with the DVLA for years to come. The services are confirmed until at least 2020. This will be a relief for those who are not able to participate in the online revolution. Apparently, not everybody uses a computer!

For most of us, these steps to make car and driver administration will come as logical.

At the moment, as mentioned, some of these plans are yet to have implementation dates.

We”ll keep an eye on the developments, so all you need to do is keep an eye on the Trade Classics blog, and we”ll keep you posted.


Emma Jones


This article was written and published by Emma Jones.  Emma works for Trade Classics as an in-house journalist and copywriter and has many years” experience in the classic car sector.  Why not write a reply on this article below – she”d love to hear your thoughts on her thoughts!


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