Vehicle tax application 'simpler' for motorists

Car tax disc An electronic system will replace the traditional car tax disc in October 2014

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Motorists no longer need to find their motor insurance certificate when taxing their vehicle, under changes that come into force on Monday.

Instead the details will be cross-checked on an electronic system.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will use centrally-held databases to ensure that vehicles are insured.

The changes come ahead of the removal of the tax disc, which will be replaced by an electronic system in October.

"Getting rid of needless bits of paper, making changes to free up motorists' time, while saving money for the taxpayer, is all part of our commitment to get rid of unnecessary red tape," said Roads Minister Robert Goodwill.

Under the database system, drivers with uninsured vehicles are sent a reminder letter. Those who take no action receive a fixed penalty notice of £100, followed by wheel clamping, impounding or prosecution, with a maximum £1,000 fine.

However, if police officers discover a motorist driving without insurance, they can hand down a fixed penalty of £300 plus six penalty points. If the case goes to court, the maximum fine is £5,000, with the potential for disqualification or six to eight penalty points.

In addition, motorists will only need to tell DVLA once when they declare their vehicle off the road. Currently, motorists who make a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) have to renew it every year.

One million out of four million SORN declarations last year were repeats.

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