It is now possible to buy your car tax online. Using the DVLA’s online service, you can apply for a new tax disc or declare Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) at the click of a mouse.
But how does it work? What do you have to do? And how can you prove your car has a valid MOT and insurance if you apply online? Keep reading to find out.
Where to go to apply for a tax disc online
If you want to apply for your car tax or declare SORN online you should head to the DVLA’s vehicle online service. You can use this service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Here you can apply for a tax disc, declare Statutory Off Road Notification and find the answers to common questions. You can also use the ‘vehicle enquiry’ service to find out what information the DVLA holds on file about a particular vehicle.
If your address has changed you should ensure this is changed before you apply for a tax disc online. You can’t change your address as part of the process. Similarly, you shouldn’t use the online service if you’ve recently moved house and you haven’t yet received your registration certificate with your new address.
Once you have reached the DVLA site you will have to click the ‘Apply for a tax disc’ link. You’ll then have to confirm several statements including that you have a valid MOT, that you have valid insurance and that your Registration Certificate contains your correct, current address.
You will then need your 16 digit V11 Reminder Reference Number or the 11 digit reference number from your Registration Certificate. You’ll also need the registration mark (number plate) of your vehicle.
You will then need to confirm that the details of the vehicle are correct and proceed to the payment screens. Bear in mind that a surcharge of £2.50 applies if you pay for your tax disc by credit card while debit card payments remain free of charge.
How does DVLA check insurance and MOT certificates?
When you apply for a tax disc using the DVLA’s online service, the vehicle’s insurance will be electronically checked with the Motor Insurance Database run by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB).
MOT certificates will also be checked electronically with the MoT database.
What happens next?
When you have completed the process and paid for your tax disc, your car tax disc will be sent to your registered address.
You are legally allowed to continue to drive your vehicle for up to 5 days after the tax disc has expired while you are waiting for the new tax disc to arrive through the post. During this period you should continue to display your existing (expired) tax disc on your vehicle.
If the tax disc has not arrived within five working days you should contact DVLA. You should have the reference number to hand.