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DVLA and HMCTS digitise paper-based prosecutions

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

We’ve worked closely with HM Courts & Tribunal Service (HMCTS) over the last 18 months to create a link, through an API, to the Common Platform system. The Common Platform gives access to relevant case information digitally to HMCTS, prosecutors, and wider participants in the criminal case management process. This has resulted in our paper-based prosecution process being revolutionised.

This is a key part of HMCTS’ £1 billion reform of courts work to bring new technology and modern ways of working to the way justice is run. It also aligns with our aim to use the data we hold to develop high quality-services with other parts of government, where this is appropriate.

We send a reminder, to the registered keepers address on our records, when vehicle tax is due. This includes all the information you need to tax online in minutes. If you do not tax, you could be issued with a late licensing penalty, your vehicle could be clamped or impounded, or your case referred to court or a debt collection agency.

For cases referred to court, digitising the process means we no longer need to spend time creating the paper-based cases and HMCTS do not need to create the case on their systems. We prosecute vehicle keepers whose vehicles aren’t taxed, those using or parking a vehicle on the road when it’s been declared as off the road (a SORN), or are uninsured. This extra time we’ve gained means that more cases can be dealt with through the single justice procedure run by HMCTS.

Working with HMCTS

Having a good working relationship with HMCTS has been vital. It’s a great example of cross working across government, involving different teams, from DVLA and HMCTS. We needed input from enforcement teams to map out the requirements needed for the design of the service; commercial teams and data protection teams to make sure the service met our high standards of security; legislative teams, service design and IT to create a solution that worked for both organisations.

Microsoft Teams also replaced our face to face meetings and it’s a real achievement that we’ve delivered this during the pandemic.


Because information is now passed to HMCTS through a secure API we do not need to print and batch these documents to send to the courts. We’ve saved time on processing the cases and the cost of printing and posting. HMCTS no longer need to create paper-based cases for prosecution, as they’re now created electronically. DVLA also gains additional court case spaces every month. All of these elements helps increase vehicle tax duty collection for HM Treasury.

It’s easy to check when your vehicle tax is due 24/7 by going to the Vehicle Enquiry Service on GOV.UK, on Amazon Alexa by downloading the skill or asking your Google Home, Android mobile phone or Android tablet to “Talk to DVLA” or “Ask DVLA”.


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  1. Comment by Tom Cunliffe posted on

    Very helpful to receive your reminders. Keep it up

  2. Comment by Mr Rob Almond posted on

    VERY BIG BROTHER! won't make a jot of difference to travellers and criminals as vehicles won't br registered ti them and police won't touch travellers .

    • Replies to Mr Rob Almond>

      Comment by John Brown posted on

  3. Comment by David Kitchen posted on

    When it comes to legal matters, the written word is of paramount importance. Digital systems can lead to confusion and errors.

  4. Comment by RICHARD WAINWRIGHT posted on

    I agree 100% with the above comment.


  5. Comment by Dave Comerford posted on

    Great to be kept in the loop, very helpful.
    Thank you.

  6. Comment by Victor. McMullan posted on

    Nice to know and welcome the heads up. I hope DVLA have some understanding for the older generation who may not react as you quite want them to! Fining people for a genuine mistake is not a nice thing to do, so I hope you listen to people and do not try a communist approach; after all we do not fine DVLA when they get it wrong.

  7. Comment by phyper1 posted on

    Best thing I've done, with my Road Tax, is to make a monthly Bank Mandate to the DVLA for collection of the tax in m9nthly installments. Then, you sit back and forget your Road Tax responsibility.!!!

  8. Comment by Mr joseph hololob posted on

    Keep moving forward

  9. Comment by Rwth Hunt posted on

    Interesting to see how it works out. By ensuring that both my MOT and insurance are current at renewal, my tax payments continue as previously arranged.

    At 75, I have also rearranged my driving licence renewal. If there's a glitch, I'll appeal, but I think that matters of auto renewing administration should be dealt with automatically.

  10. Comment by John Norris posted on

    Congratulations on achieving this during the current climate. You have my wholehearted support. Seamless processing across HMG departments has got to be good for all and result in less processing errors.

  11. Comment by Julian Gunnell posted on

    It's good news but it is only as good as the software and the human that wrote it! In the background it should/must have a human control measure to ensure some of the concerns above do not materialise. We must not go to some autobot prosecution service!

    • Replies to Julian Gunnell>

      Comment by mrs e posted on

      I agree , there are a lot of older persons who are not computer savvy , even not having laptop / computer equipment . So for all those in this category please be a little lenient with them . You cannot just send an email to all , as in those with a computer , if this is the road your going down then great , everyone is jumping on the paperless wagon , but send everyone on the road , paying tax , a LETTER first and foremost , give us all a chance to digest it and move forward .

  12. Comment by Bob Downing posted on

    I have to both applaud the intent and agree with the caveats already made. I hope someone has been appointed to deal with human error without this becoming a significant issue, and with investigation of computer error. The official denial of any faults with the Post Office system, and treatment of those it robotically penalised ought to have been a suitable warning.

  13. Comment by James Kilmarten posted on

    For the last couple of years I've renewed my vehicle Road Tax using the DVLA web site and found it very easy to do and understand
    Thank you

  14. Comment by Peter davis posted on

    I’m all for saving public money, how long will it take to recoup the billion it’s took to implement it? Good system if it works for everyone, and there’s no anomalies in prosecuting genuine people when an error occurs.

  15. Comment by al05 posted on

  16. Comment by Pete S posted on

    Sounds good on the face of things - just hope you provide good quality back up for the older generation who may find things difficult.

  17. Comment by Roger Hull posted on

    What about the computer-illiterate older generation who are not connected to the internet? Thank goodness I am not one of them but I have several neighbors who do not have a computer in their house.

  18. Comment by Richard Fell posted on

    Can I suggest that vehicles are taxed only through fuel duty then the more you drive or use your vehicle, the more you pay. That only leaves uninsured drivers and registration issues such as disqualified drivers to tackle. More ANPR is required but I do welcome anything that makes the administration side easier for older drivers.

  19. Comment by Bob Haydenb posted on

    Excellent system esp for the honest driver. Those who strive to avoid tax/not etc. Can be dealt with by the police.

  20. Comment by David Dawes posted on

    I am all for technology to be in place providing it is done efficiently and correctly.

  21. Comment by Derek posted on

    Mr rob almond
    Seems to have a very clouded view of police when he say they won’t touch travellers how does he know that
    It’s not true
    Any improvement on the system we have especially all departments being able to talk to each other and working ability of 24 hr information sharing is an excellent idea

  22. Comment by Mike scoging posted on

    I have my car taxed automatically which is great as its harder to remember when its due these days. More of a worry is the MOT due dates due to the change of policy in lockdown. One car needed an MOT whilst the other can be delayed until December/ January? Not sure. I do think we have to be careful when using digitally controlled methods of prosecution due to the stress it may cause to those who are confused as many are due to poor communication on behalf of unnecessary bureaucracy. A simple letter or automated telephone call can prompt an individual who may be in hospital or worse dead.

  23. Comment by RW Heathcote posted on

    Being 77 and finding myself increasingly confused by much of the stuff that pours into my computer and incapable of understanding almost all the technical jargon I am worried that innocent people and especially elderly ones (suffering for example loss of memory) will be unable to defend themselves against the relentless pursuit of computerised victimisation.

  24. Comment by Steve Williams posted on

    I'm all for modernising and simplifying systems whatever they may be but unfortunately this does nothing to 'catch' the owners of deliberately untaxed vehicles. There are thousands of vehicle owners in the UK who have no intention of taxing their vehicles and as they havent even bothered to register them to themselves there is no way this new system can catch up with them. I would rather see a new system that targeted these people.

  25. Comment by Anonymous posted on

    I so wish a system is put in place whereby registered keepers are reminded of MOT and Car tax due dates. As know lots of friends who just forget the date of their MOT. Am sure it could be a very simple script to create.

  26. Comment by Denis Gibbard posted on

    It would also be good to receive a reminder when Our MOT is due possibly a month before

  27. Comment by Mr s wilson posted on

    Dvla should give 1 warning too the owner off an untaxed vehicle NOT just let enforcement throw a clamp on it, alot off people forget since it went online not because off the money to pay !

  28. Comment by Mrs R posted on

    I received a letter for my tax renewal and thankful that I did as it is there to remind me until it’s paid.