Roads Minister Mike Penning gave the go-ahead for wide-ranging reforms of the DVLA aimed at providing motorists with a better, quicker service.
The main improvements will come from centralising DVLA services and making more transactions available online. This will make it easier for car owners, drivers and traders to inter-act with the agency at times and places that suit them.
It will also result in an annual saving of around £26 million for the taxpayer. The DVLA’s 39 regional offices will close over a period from October 2013 to December 2013, by which time alternative services will be available as front office counter services, online or directly from Swansea. Some regional staff will be relocated to DVLA Swansea.
Roads Minister, Mike Penning said: ‘These changes – developed after carefully listening to views expressed at consultation – will ensure that the agency delivers a smarter service to bring real benefits for the motor industry and every motorist in this country.’
DVLA’s Chief Executive, Simon Tse said: ‘We are committed to delivering the best service we can. Our continued movement towards digital transactions and the greater use of other organisations to deliver services on our behalf will make it easier for motorists to deal with us in a way that suits them and also reduce significant burden on the motor industry and other stakeholders.’
The reforms announced today follow a public consultation on the transformation of DVLA’s services. The DVLA’s response to the consultation can be viewed here www.dft.gov.uk/dvla/transformation. The plans will also allow motorists in Northern Ireland to benefit from the same services that motorists in Great Britain have access to, giving parity of service across the UK.
Key changes as part of the transformation mean:
- Motor dealers will be able to do far more for their customers using DVLA digital services. This will remove unnecessary burdens on the motorist and enable motor dealers to offer a one stop service in the vast majority of new and used vehicle sales.
- There will be far greater use of front office services by intermediaries. Over 1 million licensing applications per year that currently can only be carried out at DVLA’s 39 regional offices (such as Trade Licences) will be available via a much wider network of around 6,000 front office services, cutting travel time for motorists and traders and giving them much greater choice of where they choose to deal with DVLA.
- More of DVLA’s services will become digital.
A heavy burden on motor dealers will be removed by centralising the printing and despatching of tax discs direct to the registered keeper from DVLA’s HQ in Swansea. Currently, motor dealers pay an indemnity to DVLA to store tax discs for the vehicles they register and licence (this typically amounts to a total of around £9 million per year). By removing the burden on motor dealers to store discs, smaller dealers who currently cannot afford the indemnity will benefit and those dealers who currently pay the indemnity will see the advantages by the removal of time consuming administrative burden.
The work carried out at the 10 regional enforcement centres will be centralised in Swansea. No regional offices will close until alternative delivery channels are up and running. This means that the phased closures will not start until October 2013 and are expected to be completed by December 2013.
- Please visit www.direct.gov.uk/motoring for government information on all aspects of motoring, ranging from log books and driving licences to driving tests and vehicle tax.
[Source: Honest John]