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‘Check if a vehicle is taxed and has an MOT’ vehicle enquiry service: celebrating success

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: DVLA Digital Services

Following on from my last blog, I’m pleased to tell you that our vehicle enquiry service, ‘Check if a vehicle is taxed and has an MOT’ has now reached live status.

Team effort

It’s been a long two years since my team and I set out to get the service through the GDS (Government Digital Services) live service assessment. It’s been a great project to work on and we’ve all learned a lot about designing a digital service.

The team of six standing in a group

Vital user feedback

The first step was to try and get a deep understanding of the users and their needs. We did lots of lab testing with different designs and layouts. The feedback from this and accessibility testing has shaped how the service looks now.

It also led to us developing a new channel called the VES API (application programming interface), which we’re hoping to roll out in public beta in the future.

We couldn’t have made these improvements without the help of our customers.

Satisfaction and improvement

We know that users are satisfied with the service. Our analytics show that overall search completion has now reached over 88% and user satisfaction is at 92%.

One of the big changes we made to the service was removing the need to enter a vehicle make when making an enquiry. We worked with our policy colleagues to fully understand the potential benefits and risks. Since doing this, the average time it takes for a user to get information has decreased by 2 seconds and the failure rate has dropped from 18.2% to 8.7%. That’s a 52% improvement!

The future

We plan to showcase what we’ve learned from this project with other government departments. It's been a brilliant experience which we want to share with other product owners and the community.

Although the service is now live, we'll still continue to add new features and improve the user experience. To help us do this, we'd love for our users to continue to give us feedback.


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  1. Comment by Sales Adminion, Gravells Ltd posted on

    Tax enquiry still not real time for vehicles taxed online ie tax a car Monday, does not show as taxed before Tuesday.

    Not success in my book !

    • Replies to Sales Adminion, Gravells Ltd>

      Comment by Wullie posted on

      If 10 thousand people tax their car on a Monday, you can't honestly expect everyone to have it done the same day!! .... DVLA give you plenty of notice when your road tax is due. Don't leave it until the last day ?

  2. Comment by Corry Littlefair posted on

    Fantastic service and great work. How soon before we can access this information directly via the API - without having to go through an expensive 3rd party? - Sign me up for beta too!

    • Replies to Corry Littlefair>

      Comment by DVLA Communications posted on

      Hi Corry,

      Thank you! The API is being trialled in Private Beta. Please keep an eye out for any updates in future blogs.


  3. Comment by Andrew Williams posted on

    This is good and would be even better if there was a link to MoT history!

  4. Comment by E Shawn posted on

    Maybe you can teach the government a thing or two!

  5. Comment by Seb posted on

    It would be good to have insured / uninsured status as well.

  6. Comment by Farmer, s posted on

    When is the app coming out ?

    • Replies to Farmer, s>

      Comment by DVLA Communications posted on


      There is no app for the service but it is available on the browser, which you can access via your phone and has a mobile-friendly layout.


  7. Comment by Anita Cooze posted on

    How about linking in whether a vehicle has insurance too

    • Replies to Anita Cooze>

      Comment by DVLA Communications posted on

      Hi Anita,

      This is a good idea, however, DVLA don’t own the rights to the insurance data. We do have a link on the service, to 'Ask MIB' if you wish to check on your insurance.


  8. Comment by R. Clark posted on

    Absolutely brilliant ! Well done with this service!
    The MOT checker is also fantastic, when buying a secondhand car it really helps to find out its history and what the vehicle has failed on in its you an insight to its history..

  9. Comment by Frank Flynn posted on

    Sick of reporting cars dumped and not mot or tax nothing ever happens

  10. Comment by Lori posted on

    I was checking my car status,the answer was.. DVLA doesn't have e any information about this vehicle, it means s doesn't exist!!!!???

  11. Comment by Dan posted on

    How is that any different to which has been in Production for many years.

    • Replies to Dan>

      Comment by DVLA Communications posted on

      Hi Dan,

      Well spotted - it is the same service! In order to pass the 'Live' GDS assessment, we have made significant design changes based on user feedback and we will need to continuously improve the service through its life cycle. Therefore, even though it’s been in production a long time it will continue to change along with users’ needs for it.


  12. Comment by Daz posted on

    You still cannot see the testing station where a car had its MOT.

  13. Comment by Sam P posted on

    I'd noticed the removal of the requirement for a make. Much better.

    It always seemed ridiculous having it in there when I could take the car reg and pop it into an insurance website to find out the make, then give that to your site to get past the check.

    The service is super easy to use now and gets MOT data straight away after the garage has uploaded it. Well done.

  14. Comment by Tony posted on

    In the past this service would show if the vehicle was used for disability and was tax free.This led to many many people who where abusing the DLA being reported and prosecuted .This in turn saved taxpayers a lot of money ,why have you removed this facility from your site.

    • Replies to Tony>

      Comment by DVLA Communications posted on

      Hi Tony,

      We appreciate the benefit to using this data for addressing DLA fraud, however, disability status is considered as sensitive/personal data and DVLA made a decision to remove this from the digital service to protect individual’s personal data.


  15. Comment by Iain Traynor posted on

    This is a fantastic and extremely useful service but it needs to pull MOT data for vehicles that have been MOT'd in Northern Ireland. Currently this data is unavailable. Will this issue be addressed?

    • Replies to Iain Traynor>

      Comment by Iain Traynor posted on

      What I mean is the MOT history with recorded mileages etc. I know it tells me if it is MOT'd but history is very useful as there is an alarming high rate of 'clocked' cars here in Northern Ireland.

    • Replies to Iain Traynor>

      Comment by DVLA Communications posted on

      Hi Iain,

      Thank you for your kind comments! Happy for you to provide your vehicle registration number so that we can check why this is not appearing on the service?


  16. Comment by Duncan McLachlan posted on

    Thanks its been useful to check my cars and bikes insurance, good work.
    Keep it up

  17. Comment by Tony White posted on

    Why is the system unable to show test history for PSV vehicles....even the Police have said my vehicle is not Mot'd, until I prove it with a certificate.

  18. Comment by G posted on

    ive been searching is my car taxed clicking 1st link on google for years and it gives you both dates and flags if not taxed or mot, they have worked tirelessly on something that exists already? lol

  19. Comment by Terry posted on

    I think it's a fantastic service. We regularly get untaxed and vehicles without MOTs dumped in our street and shortly after we report them they're gone!

  20. Comment by Steven McNally posted on

    I think it has been a great success. Thanks for all your hard work. Don't take to heart any of the negative people, because I know how hard it can be to get huge projects like these to work.

  21. Comment by Gerard posted on

    Bring Back The Tax Disc

  22. Comment by Keyboard Warrior posted on

    You've created a great service that is simple to use, and gives the user access to very useful information.

    Keep up the good work.

  23. Comment by Dawid Joubert posted on

    I applaud the DVLA. The systems works as it should with no roadblocks.

    Satisfaction is really 100% in my books.

  24. Comment by Danny posted on

    When is an app coming out for you to report a car that's not got tax or mot but still driving on the roads.

    • Replies to Danny>

      Comment by DVLA Communications posted on

      Hi Danny,

      DVLA doesn’t have an app for reporting untaxed vehicles but you can report an untaxed vehicle by clicking the link on the right hand side of results page, within the service. Enforcing MOT compliance currently sits with police and local councils.


  25. Comment by Ian White posted on

    It would be more helpful if you could check the actual vehicle tax payable by its registration number and not confusing tables

  26. Comment by Tracey posted on

    I love this service but is there an app to report vehicles that are not taxed or mot'd but are still being used?

    • Replies to Tracey>

      Comment by DVLA Communications posted on

      Hi Tracey,

      There is no app for reporting untaxed vehicles at the moment, but you can report an untaxed vehicle by clicking the link on the right hand side of the results page, within the service. We get over 30,000 reports of untaxed vehicles per week now using this option!


  27. Comment by Brandy posted on

    There is already an app called vehicle smart that does all that and more. IE. Checking back on previous mot history

  28. Comment by Matt posted on

    Not is the MOT live. I think k DVLA should take a leaf out of the DVSA book when. It comes to making s public API and accessibility of information.

  29. Comment by Matt posted on

    What is the realistic time scale for the public API. It was muted about being early last year.

    The API really is needed. Especially in light of a few of your 'selected' customers already having the enjoyment of it during this prolonged 'testing' period. Again reference to DVSA efficiencies and willingness to work with users is a credit to the DVSA.

  30. Comment by Mr p m Hall posted on

    A 1 service many thanks !!

  31. Comment by Richard posted on

    Love the check MOT history feature. Not only can you check the vehicles mileage is legitimate but the MOT fails and advisories give you a great insight into the vehicles general condition. Good work guys.

  32. Comment by colin posted on

    good idea should be a must app for drivers

  33. Comment by Tim posted on

    MOT is a day out of date from the DVSA, a very poor show by the DVLA - the DVSA are light years ahead.