Rohan Gye’s recent blog 400 days of transformation has reminded us that many of the changes we’re delivering stem from the Red Tape Challenge introduced by government in April 2011. This gave business and the general public the opportunity to challenge the government to get rid of burdensome regulations.
By December 2011, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced an ambitious programme of road transportation changes. This included our commitment to make services easier for motorists and business - to remove paper documents and increase the availability of online services - later to be known as ’DVLA’s paperless driving measures package’.
Paperless driving measures package
Many of the proposals needed us to consult with users and those affected to:
- quantify the costs and benefits of the options under consideration
- determine the best way of introducing the changes
- address any unintended consequences.
Many proposals needed significant changes being made to our IT systems, with 3 being adopted as digital exemplars and others needing a change to legislation. This mammoth task involved the efforts of many including stakeholders, businesses, motorists, policy, project and IT officials, economists and lawyers. From the outset we recognised that all proposals required a deep understanding of users’ needs and that extensive engagement and collaboration was essential.
Where are we now?
Fast forward 3 years and we’ve:
- removed the insurance check at vehicle relicensing - allowing an additional 600,000 people to renew vehicle tax online. Current estimates show this will result in annual savings of £1m for private motorists and £0.6m for business (all savings are expressed in 2015 prices)
- removed the requirement to make an annual Statutory Off Road Notification - you now only need to notify DVLA you’ve taken a vehicle off the road once and savings for private motorists are estimated to be over £7m
- removed the address from the tachocard - vocational drivers no longer have to surrender their tachograph card to notify a change of address, this benefits vocational drivers and the freight industry
- allowed motor dealers to add an additional 1, 2 or 3 weeks to the expiry date of 12 months vehicle tax (Date to End of Month Licensing) - a benefit to motability operations in particular
- abolished the tax disc - once validated by the Regulatory Policy Committee these savings for business and motorists are expected to be around £12m per year
- introduced Direct Debit for vehicle tax - allowing motorists and businesses to pay monthly, six-monthly or annually helps our customers manage their finances by spreading the cost of vehicle tax
During March 2015
- you’ll be able to take a registration number off a vehicle online - the service is scheduled to be available on GOV.UK as public beta on 23 March 2015 and, the £25 retention fee has been removed. More service improvements to make it simpler for people to move personal number plates from one vehicle to another, will be made generating savings of £24m every year to businesses and motorists
- V5C on Demand for fleets - 2 million fleet vehicles will no longer need a paper registration certificate, saving companies around £2.6m each year
- Vehicle Management – motor traders can already tell us about the sale of a vehicle online - it will soon be possible to acquire a vehicle, change address or change a vehicle’s details online - around 18m changes to address and vehicle details will be possible, saving business and motorists over £10m per year
8 June 2015
- from 8 June 2015, the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence will not be valid and will no longer be issued by DVLA.
Delivering the changes
It has been an ambitious undertaking to deliver so many changes. We’ve done a lot to understand users’ needs and to join services and information up as we moved along. Where possible we’ve taken an agile approach to introduce the changes and adhered to digital by default service standards.
We’ve provided regular updates to DfT and Cabinet Office on legislative and IT progress on delivering our commitments. The outcome is we’ve delivered a significant package of change as part of the Red Tape Challenge but it wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts of everyone involved in the process.
We’ll not be resting on our laurels and will continue to refine and expand the range of on-line services that will help to realise our goal to be Simpler, Better, Safer.