The ability to pay road tax and apply for a driving licence, or change your details, online has made these processes quicker and easier, both for motorists and for the DVLA.
However, it is important to check that you are going through the official government website. According to a warning issued by the DVLA, drivers are receiving fraudulent emails, text messages, and phone calls requesting details of payment methods, or personal information. Emails and texts may include a link to a website created to resemble the official DVLA site.
Scam websites and phone calls are designed to obtain personal information, which can then be used for criminal activity. If you give out your bank or payment card details, you risk giving strangers access to your funds, while if you give out your name, address, phone number, or email address, you may be targeted for further scams, or, at worst, become a victim of identity theft.
The DVLA states that they will never send an email or text to ask for confirmation of personal details, or payment information. The government takes fraud very seriously, and will always investigate cases of organisations or individuals deliberately misleading the public. If you have received a scam email, phone call, or text message, you are advised to contact Action Fraud, the fraud and cybercrime division of the police. The police can also offer advice if you have given out personal information to a scammer, either online or over the phone.
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The simplest way to check whether you are on the official DVLA website is to look for the www.gov.uk domain name in your browser’s address bar. If you are in any doubt about the authenticity of a website, you can go straight to www.gov.uk and search for the service you require.
Using the DVLA website, drivers of new and used cars can renew road tax with a few clicks, and pay over the internet using a credit or debit card. All you will need is the code printed on the reminder letter you will be sent before the tax is due, or, if you don’t have that, your V5.
When you tax your vehicle online, electronic checks will ensure you have a valid insurance policy and, where necessary, an MOT certificate, so there is no need to take your documents to the Post Office or post them to the DVLA. Motor trade customers still need to apply by post for trade plates but the forms are available online.