You can check if a vehicle has an up-to-date tax disc, or has been declared off road with a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN), on the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) website. All you need is the make and registration number of the vehicle.
You can also generally pay for your tax disc online if you are the vehicle’s registered keeper, the DVLA has your name, address and vehicle details, you have your reminder letter (V11 or V85/1) or registration certificate (V5C) and your vehicle is insured and has an MOT if it needs one.
If any of the above is not the case, however, you will need to pay a visit to your local Post Office to get the necessary paperwork.
Applying for a duplicate tax disc
You must replace your tax disc if it’s been lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed. The same is true if it has, for example, faded to the extent that you can no longer read it.
You can find the form needed to apply for a duplicate tax disc – the V20 Application for duplicate tax disc – online. Once filled in, though, you must take it to the nearest Post Office that issues duplicate tax discs along with the original tax disc if you have it and the vehicle registration certificate (V5C).
There is a £7 fee for this service, unless the vehicle is exempt from car tax or a new disc is needed due to the colour fading on the original, or because one already sent out by the DVLA got lost in the post.
Anyone unable to find the vehicle registration certificate (V5C) will also have to pay £25 – and send a completed V62 application form to the DVLA – to receive a duplicate tax disc.
Modifications that require a new tax disc
The bad news for amateur mechanics who enjoy tinkering with their cars at the weekend is that it is important to get a new tax disc if you make certain major changes to your vehicle.
Modifications that require a tax disc exchange include replacing the engine with a more powerful one and changing the fuel type. This is because the tax band it falls into is likely to change as a result.
To make the change, you will need to present the current tax disc, the registration certificate (V5C) with any changes marked on it, a valid car insurance certificate, a valid MOT certificate (if needed), the Exchange of Vehicle Licence Application Form (V70) and, of course, any extra payment required.
If the modifications will put the vehicle into a lower tax band, (for example, because you have reduced the engine size), written evidence of the changes made will also be required.
Importing a foreign car
If you want to permanently import a vehicle into the UK, you must prove that it meets environmental and safety regulations. You must also register it, pay any VAT, duty or tax due, and insure it with a UK insurance provider.
Until you’ve done this, you can’t keep or use the vehicle on public roads, except to drive it to pre-arranged appointments that are necessary to get it registered here.
The rules for temporarily importing a vehicle into the UK are different. You can get more information by clicking here.