Welsh language scheme

The Welsh language scheme sets out how we provide services to the public in Wales.

Statement of principle

When conducting public business in Wales, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will treat the Welsh and English languages equally. The Welsh language scheme sets out how we will uphold this principle when providing services to the public in Wales.

The scheme:

  • has regard to the guidelines issued by the Welsh Language Board (monitored by the Welsh Language Commissioner from April 2013)
  • will be publicised and available to all staff and the public

Our responsibilities and objectives

Our primary aim is to improve road safety, increase efficiency and make services easier and more secure for our customers. In doing this our key purpose is to ensure that complete and accurate registers of drivers and vehicles are held and we make them as accessible and as flexible as possible to those who have the right to use them. We are responsible for a wide range of services to the motoring public, the motor industry, the police, the courts and other government departments.

Our main responsibilities are to:

  • maintain over 49 million driver records and almost 40 million vehicle records
  • collect over £6 billion a year in vehicle excise duty (VED)
  • limit tax evasion to no more than 1% per annum
  • collect the sale proceeds of personal registration numbers on behalf of the Treasury
  • support the police and intelligence authorities in dealing with vehicle related crime

In pursuing our aims we are expected to meet the following objectives.

For drivers:

  • maintain records and issue driving licences to all in Great Britain who are licensed to drive
  • ensure fitness to drive of applicants who declare medical conditions
  • record all test passes
  • record changes to drivers personal details, or entitlement to drive
  • record driving convictions and disqualifications

For vehicles:

  • maintain a central record of licensed vehicles in Great Britain, including the vehicle history and changes of keeper
  • administer the vehicle excise duty (VED) system
  • enforce the payment of VED
  • pay VED refunds
  • issue registration certificates when a vehicle first comes onto the road, updating records as keeper-ship details are notified
  • record vehicles kept off the road
  • supply registration information to the police and others legally entitled to the details
  • meet demands for personalised and attractive number plates, by selling direct to the public and by recording private transfers

Service planning and delivery

Policies, legislation and initiatives

Our policies, services, processes and initiatives will be consistent with this scheme. We will support the use of the Welsh language where these policies, services and initiatives affect or are delivered directly to the public in Wales.

We undertake to assess the linguistic consequences of any new policies, services, processes and initiatives affecting/being delivered directly to the public in Wales, ensuring it is compliant with the commitments made within this scheme.

Delivering services

We will support and provide services in Welsh whenever possible. The Welsh Language Unit Manager will:

  • ensure the principle of language equality is considered and applied in all aspects of the agency’s work that affects the general public in Wales
  • keep staff and the public informed of our commitment to language equality
  • be the main point of contact for enquiries about the scheme and its operation

Customers of driver and vehicle licensing services in Wales will be able to receive services through the medium of Welsh. These include receiving bilingual vehicle licence discs (at Post Offices and local offices throughout Wales), bilingual vehicle registration certificates and bilingual driving licences.

We will respond in Welsh to all customers who choose to correspond in Welsh and telephone customers contacting the agency’s Customer Enquiry Group and wishing to transact their business in Welsh will be offered the facility.

Any agreement or arrangement entered into with a third party, and relating to the provision of services to the public in Wales, will be consistent with the scheme.

Information and communications technology

Current major electronic applications are fully supported by Welsh language format options and the development of further electronic solutions will take account of the provisions of the scheme to provide information and services in Welsh.

Communicating with the Welsh speaking public

Written communication

We welcome correspondence in Welsh and English.

Correspondence received in Welsh will be answered in Welsh and corresponding in Welsh should not of itself lead to delay. Correspondence following a telephone or face to face communication conducted in Welsh will also be in Welsh. Our bilingual letter-headed paper will include a statement in both languages indicating that correspondence in both languages is welcome. We intend that correspondence with members of the driving public in Wales will be initiated in the preferred language of the individual, if this is known. Otherwise it will be bilingual.

Members of the public who wish to communicate with the agency by email in Welsh will receive a response in Welsh.

Telephone communication

We welcome telephone enquiries in Welsh or English.

Our interactive automated telephone system, will offer a Welsh service if the customer is identified as being from within Wales. If customers are connected to an operator and they wish to conduct their enquiry through the medium of Welsh, they will be referred to a Welsh speaking operator.

Where a Welsh speaker is not immediately available to take the call we will offer a call back service in the Welsh language or offer the opportunity to continue the call in English.

Public meetings

We do not organise public meetings.

Publicity and printed material

Advertising and publicity activities

Publicity posters and other visual promotional materials will be issued bilingually in Wales. If this is not possible, separate Welsh and English versions will be equal in size, format and quality and will be distributed and exhibited in a manner which respects the principle of equality between the Welsh and English languages.

Display materials at any conference, seminar or exhibition for the public held in Wales will be bilingual or in separate English and Welsh version.

Public surveys

We will ensure that public surveys and questionnaires are available in Welsh if needed.


We only issue a limited number of published documents such as the ‘Annual report accounts’ and ‘Business plan’. These are generally low volume publications aimed at a specific audience and are not translated into other languages.


Publications are now web by default and as such are subject to government-wide policy. Our website will include pages in both Welsh and English and our normal practice will be to provide Welsh pages of the interactive pages.

When we post an English language publication on our website, the Welsh version will be posted at the same time if available.

We are working with the Government Digital Service (GDS) to provide translation in line with the Cabinet Office’s policy of proportionate translation.

Forms and explanatory material

We will produce bilingual versions of the following:

  • vehicle licence (tax) discs
  • vehicle licence renewal reminders
  • vehicle registration certificates
  • driving licences
  • driving licence renewal reminders
  • driver tachograph cards
  • responses to Welsh language correspondence, including e-mail and letter mail, generated in same language

A form or explanatory leaflet will made available in the Welsh language if the document is aimed at the general GB public.

Corporate identity

We will adopt a bilingual corporate identity to our customers in Wales. The acronym for the agency, DVLA, is well understood and will remain unchanged. Where the agency’s title appears in full, it will also be in Welsh for use in Wales.

Our address and other standard information will be fully bilingual on items such as signs, buildings, fax papers, business cards, identification cards, compliment slips, envelopes and other goods and materials for use in Wales.

Signs in Wales

External and internal signage will be bilingual within the public areas of our offices in Wales. If separate Welsh and English signs are provided, they will be equal in terms of format, size, quality, legibility and prominence.

Press releases and contact with the media

Press releases to Welsh language press and broadcasting media based in Wales will be bilingual. Our aim is to issue releases simultaneously in both languages, but where timing does not allow this, a Welsh version will be produced as soon as possible afterwards.

We will provide Welsh speaking staff for interviews requested by the Welsh language media on issues affecting the business. Any media campaigns we initiate on Welsh language television and radio will be conducted in Welsh.



We will identify those workplaces and posts where the ability to speak Welsh is essential and those where it is desirable and the level of proficiency required in each case. In drawing up team and job descriptions, careful consideration will be given to any potential need for written or spoken capabilities in Welsh. This will be regulated by the demand for Welsh language services and the extent to which the services offered are taken up.

Recruitment adverts in newspapers based in Wales will be bilingual with Welsh and English versions shown together.

Staff training

In line with corporate priorities to ensure we meet our obligations we will:

  • arrange language training programmes for staff electing to provide Welsh language services - programmes are accessed by existing Welsh speakers developing their language skills to provide business benefit to our bilingual services
  • make available Welsh language training packages and materials to allow staff to develop basic language skills for personal language development plans

Implementing the scheme

The measures in this scheme carry the full authority, support and approval of our organisation. Managers have the responsibility of implementing those aspects of the scheme relevant to their work. We will make the public aware that they may use Welsh or English when communicating with any of our offices by correspondence, telephone or face to face. We will publish the scheme to our staff, to the public in Wales and on GOV.UK.

We have put in place arrangements with an external professional translation service ensuring that the agency has access to a high quality translation service when required.

Services delivered on behalf of the agency by other parties

Some services we provide to the public are carried out by other organisations such as issuing of the vehicle licence (tax disc) by the Post Office. We will ensure through contracting arrangements that the agent or contractor is aware of and complies with the requirements of the scheme when providing services to the public in Wales on behalf of DVLA.

Reviewing and amending the scheme

We will review the scheme as part of a cyclical 3 year process and incorporate any agreed amendments at these review points.

Suggestions for improvement

We welcome suggestions to improve our service to Welsh speakers and these should be sent to the Welsh Language Unit Manager. Customers may comment on the scheme by sending an email to the Welsh Language Unit.

Write to us

Welsh Language Unit Manager
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
Strategy, Policy and Communications Directorate
Longview Road


We will handle any complaints about our administration of the scheme in line with our complaints procedure.

General enquiries

Contact us

Welsh language line: 0300 790 6819