View Idea

DVLA Online Vehicle Transfer and Ownership Records

Reference ID:

Department Responsible:
Department for Transport

Problem Description:
It would be useful to be able to notify DVLA of vehicle ownership transfer and scrapped vehicle notifications.

It would also be useful to be able to declare a vehicle as SORN at any time, because there is a bug in the system that does not allow the SORN declaration to be made at all, if for some reason this was missed during the intially allocated time slot.

Proposed solution:
Software installation / Modification

Cost or time incurred:
The savings are in terms of cost, time and hassle.

Department for Transport


Official response

Thank you for your Better Regulation proposals about the vehicle registration and licensing rules. You suggested the introduction of facilities to accept electronic notifications of vehicle disposal and to be able to make a back-dated Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN). Your proposal has been passed to the Policy and External Communications Directorate within the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), an Executive Agency of the Department for Transport, for consideration. In making this assessment we have considered the simplification proposal and taken advice from policy officials.

DVLA is developing a strategy to meet the government commitment to modernise through electronic delivery of services wherever possible. However, current legislation requires that many vehicle registration transactions, including that to notify of a change of keeper, must be supported by a signature on the relevant application form. Frequently, the law also requires the physical production of supporting documentation such as insurance and MoT certificates or passports.

Whilst these difficulties should not be insurmountable, the existing legal framework will have to be taken into account in the DVLA review process, and it is likely that the law will have to be amended to allow the transaction to be conducted electronically. The Agency will publicise any such change as and when it becomes possible for it to be introduced. However, at this stage the Agency cannot give any undertaking as to the timescales likely to be involved.

Meanwhile, the Agency has already determined that it should not implement your proposal to allow a backdated SORN - electronically or otherwise.

The facility to allow vehicle keepers to backdate vehicle licence applications and SORNs, was actually withdrawn in October 2004 to underpin the Continuous Registration (CR) regime that came into effect earlier that year. The principal aim of CR is actually to discourage late licensing, in order to increase the accuracy and currency of DVLA’s vehicle register to help in the fight against vehicle related crime.

Under CR, the registered keeper of a vehicle is responsible for ensuring that it is continuously licensed until DVLA has been notified that it has been sold, transferred, scrapped, exported or taken off the road. DVLA makes regular scans of the vehicle register to identify offenders and takes enforcement action against them directly from the record. Backdated licensing/SORN would weaken the effectiveness of the CR rules.

We would like to extend our thanks for your time and effort in participating in this process.