The change, announced today by Roads Minister Robert Goodwill, is part of a package of measures to get rid of unnecessary red tape.
The changes, which come into force from 16 December 2013, also mean that 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 their SORN every year. Last year, around 4 million SORNs were made, with over 1 million of those repeat renewals.
Roads Minister Robert Goodwill said:
“We want to make it as easy as possible for motorists to access government services.
“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.”
The changes to insurance checks have been made possible because DVLA regularly checks existing databases for insurance under Continuous Insurance Enforcement rules. DVLA’s records are compared regularly with the Motor Insurance Database to identify registered keepers of vehicles that have no insurance.
Ashton West, Chief Executive at the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) said:
“Motor insurance remains a legal requirement and these changes recognise the value and importance of the insurance records held centrally on the MID. The introduction of Continuous Insurance Enforcement in 2011 was always designed to provide a more robust and technology driven solution to ensuring that vehicles have insurance in place. The successful introduction of the new process by the DVLA and the MIB has enabled these changes to be made now, which will bring benefits to millions of motorists.”
Commenting on the changes to declaring SORN, Geoff Lancaster of the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs said, “DVLA are to be congratulated for making sensible use of their technology to maintain their high standards of service while at the same time simplifying life for road users.”
Motorists must ensure that they have appropriate motor insurance in place.
The Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) scheme to tackle uninsured motorists was launched in June 2011. Under the scheme it is an offence to be the keeper of an uninsured vehicle. Information is cross checked between the Motor Insurance Database (MID) and DVLA keeper records.
Under CIE, keepers of vehicles which appear to be uninsured are sent reminder letters. Those who take no action receive a fixed penalty notice of £100, followed by enforcement action – wheelclamping, impounding and ultimately prosecution by the courts (the maximum fine in Court is £1,000).
For the offence of driving without insurance the police can offer a fixed penalty of £300 plus six penalty points, or prosecution (maximum fine of £5,000), discretionary disqualification and mandatory endorsement of between six and eight penalty points. Since 2005 the police have had the power to seize uninsured vehicles. In 2011 they seized 140,000 vehicles.
Drivers and owners can check their vehicle is on the Motor Insurance Database at www.askMID.com.
The removal of the insurance check applies to motorists in GB; the removal of the need to SORN each year applies to all motorists in the UK.