Say Goodbye to the Tax Disc

Government switches to electronic verification

After spending 93 years on the windscreens of our vehicles, we’re finally able to say goodbye to the tax disc, as the DVLA (Driving Vehicle and Licensing Agency) moves to an electronic verification system instead of relying on the paper tax disc in our cars.

First introduced in 1921, officials say that the tax disc is no longer needed since the DVLA and police use a network of thousands of cameras to enforce the law, identifying if a vehicle is taxed by its number plate. The Treasury says that this change shows how the government is moving “into the modern age”. One of the other benefits is that drivers can now spread the cost of their road tax on a monthly basis by choosing to pay by direct debit.

An RAC survey of more than 2,000 drivers found 36 per cent were unaware of the scrapping of the paper disc, while 47 per cent did not know when the change was due to take effect.

There are also some concerns from drivers that people might forget to renew their tax without the reminder in their window, though the DVLA is quick to remind everyone that they will continue to send out reminders to drivers before their tax is set to expire as well as issue warnings to those who may have forgotten to pay.

With this new system, unexpired tax discs will no longer be able to be transferred to new owners when a car is sold, and drivers who sell their car before their car tax expires will instead be sent a cheque to cover the remaining unused tax when they transfer ownership of the vehicle.

Even if your tax disc has not expired, you no longer need to display it in your windscreen as details of your tax payment are now stored electronically with the DVLA. You can check whether a vehicle has road tax by using the check vehicle tax website, by entering the vehicles registration and make.