Motorists in Northern Ireland will benefit from a better, quicker service under proposals set out today (17 July 2013) by Roads Minister Stephen Hammond. The wide-ranging reforms would ensure parity of service for Northern Ireland motorists with the rest of the UK.
Key to the planned improvements is giving Northern Ireland motorists the ability to tax vehicles online or by telephone for the first time. Motorists would also have access to more vehicle registration and licensing services than ever before at around 150 Post Office® branches across Northern Ireland.
The proposed improvements could result in an estimated £12 million year-on-year saving for the taxpayer.
Roads Minister, Stephen Hammond said:
These changes will give customers more choice and flexibility and mean that for the first time, motorists in Northern Ireland will have access to the same services as those across the rest of the UK.
It is right that motorists in Northern Ireland are able to go online or pick up the phone to tax their car at a time and place that suits them. The proposed changes I have announced today (17 July 2013) will ensure the high quality of service continues while giving every motorist in Northern Ireland greater choice and flexibility.
The consultation which is launched today (17 July 2013) will look at modernising the services available to Northern Ireland motorists and centralise the delivery of vehicle licensing and registration services at the DVLA in Swansea. The consultation will run until 11 September 2013.
Notes to editors
In summary, the consultation seeks views on the proposal to modernise the services available to Northern Ireland motorists and centralise the delivery of vehicle licensing and registration services at DVLA in Swansea.
The Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) is based in Coleraine and provides vehicle registration and licensing services on behalf of DVLA. This service is also provided in the Local Vehicle Licensing Offices in, Armagh, Ballymena, Belfast, Downpatrick, Enniskillen, Londonderry and Omagh.
Motorists in Great Britain have been able to tax their vehicle online or by phone since 2004. As part of the changes announced today (17 July 2013) in the consultation, motorists in Northern Ireland would, for the first time, be able to tax their vehicle online or by automated phone. There will be more telephone lines available providing a quick service and will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from home, work or abroad. They will also be able to tell DVLA that their vehicle is being kept off the road in the same way, as well as having access to more vehicle registration and licensing services at around 150 Post Office® branches across the country.
Under the proposals the DVA would no longer provide vehicle registration and licensing services for Northern Ireland motorists. DVLA in Swansea would be responsible for all vehicle registration and licensing in the UK.
Driver licensing is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland and will remain the responsibility of DVA.