The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency is the organisation of the UK government responsible for maintaining a database of drivers in Great Britain and a database of vehicles for the entire United Kingdom. Its counterpart for drivers in Northern Ireland is the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA).
DVLA is responsible for creating and maintaining vehicle records and issuing vehicle registration certificates, collecting vehicle excise duty, providing refunds, and recording keeper, accident, scrapped and theft details.
DVLA is also responsible for creating and maintaining accurate records of all drivers and riders, along with a register of all vehicles entitled to travel on public roads.
History of the DVLA
Previously driver and vehicle licensing requirements in the UK were administered by local authorities. In 1965, the government decided that arrangements should be centralised to increase efficiency and take advantage of new technologies including automated data processing. Swansea was chosen in consultation with the Department of Employment.
In 1973, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Centre (DVLC) began registering and licensing all drivers and new vehicles. Initially, 81 regional offices were retained to provide customer facing services.
By 1985, around 95% of all vehicle excise duty licensing transactions were available at more than 4,000 Post Offices® and the number of regional offices reduced to 53. In April 1990, the DVLC became an Executive Agency of the Department of Transport known as the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
Driver’s medical service
DVLA has a role to assess the medical fitness of drivers in Great Britain with the aim of keeping the roads safe. The current licensing system places an obligation on the driver to notify DVLA of any medical condition which may affect their fitness to drive. When a driver makes this declaration, an investigation is carried out to assess whether or not individuals should retain their entitlement to drive.
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