posted 4 years ago

Avoid Extra Cost: DVLA Warns Online Licence & Road Tax Applicants To Use GOV.UK

Copycat Websites Costing Motorists Small Fortune

The DVLA has warned motorists only to apply for a driving licence/road tax online at GOV.UK. That is very important. Why? Because there is a range of copycat websites - that look remarkably similar to the government's - that offer a potentially expensive "check and send" service but are not associated with the DVLA. Such companies tend to be found via search engines in the sponsored links/paid for sections. As such, a motorist might complete – or to be more accurate believe he/she completes an online application -  then pays the relevant fee. But this does not lead to a new licence or tax disc. Instead, the company simply prints the application form and sends it to the driver. It must then be posted to the DVLA for processing. The DVLA has revealed that such companies charge up to three times the rate of its direct services. Furthermore, it said that “the Office of Fair Trading has ruled that websites which charge additional fees and services are not acting illegally”. The Government - led by Cabinet Office’s Government Digital Service - will, however, “continue to investigate reports of organisations which may be actively misleading users about their services or acting illegally”. Action will be taken as required.

GOV.UK Online Services And Information

GOV.UK provides a range of online services and information for drivers. These relate to:

  • Driving licence, e.g. apply for a provisional licence, renew a licence, renew a licence if the motorist is seventy or older, change of address, book theory/practical driving test, etc.

  • Tax disc, e.g. renew, check vehicle is taxed, calculate rates, SORN deceleration, etc. 

  • Number plates and vehicle registration, e.g. apply for a vehicle identity check, purchase personalised registrations, find number plate suppliers, rules for displaying registrations, importing vehicles into the United Kingdom, exporting vehicles, selling a vehicle, scrapping a vehicle, changing name/address on V5C, etc.

  • MOT, e.g. check MOT history of a vehicle, check MOT status of a vehicle, checks when purchasing a second-hand vehicle, emissions testing, etc.

  • Teaching people to drive, e.g. apply to become an instructor, book/change/cancel theory tests for pupils, criminal record check before becoming an instructor, etc. 
  • Blue badge, e.g. apply for or renew a blue badge, report blue badge stolen, change the details of a blue badge, etc.

  • Parking, e.g. appeal a parking fine, getting a parking permit, paying a fine, etc. 

DVLA online driving licence

DVLA online tax disc


I thought I was using the DVLA site when applying for my Son's provisional licence as the site was identical to DVLAs, but it wasn't. Cost me £90 for his licence and left me feeling a bit daft that I hadn't noticed it wasn't the genuine site.

The same thing happened to me when applying for a passport. These sites should be shut down.

I have been applying for a tax disc online for a few years now and have never had a problem, making sure I am n the GOV.UK website which is super easy to navigate. Its beats queing at the Post Office every time.


why would the government care they are the biggest scamers in the country and all these other sites are only jumping on the band wagon.

Evil Google

Same with the European Health Insurance Cards, these are free but sites about trying to charge you for filling fhe forms in.

This is a start of a bad way of changing for tax disc this does not solve the problem the best way is the way we always have done it its going to get a lot worse i am sure drivers all agree

yes I got conned out of £50 for a driving licence.its shocking.

Beware that if you are applying for a new passport, there are similar scams and wheezes that can double the cost.

I was caught with this scam paying an extra £80 for new tax and driving licence that had been stolen. There should be some way of closing these sites down.

The DVLA collude with these scammers by supplying them with thousands of blank forms on request!

When I tried to apply on line,via the web address given on the DVLA renewal notice ( as I did last year,) it wanted to charge me a £40 supplement. Whats all that about?

Why can't the DLVA website/systems not detect when applications are being sent via other 'companies' ? Unless people in these companies are hand typing the forms, it is easy enough to detect when probgrams are being used to fill the forms in, and then track the IP's !

Caveat Emptor! A 2000 year old piece of advice. Unchanged in the course of time.

The Office of Fair Trading is clearly unfit for purpose and the search sites are colluding in fraud by proving services to websites with names designed to mislead.

This has happened to me and I have now found out that the woman behind this scam is living in Dunstable

Why not do it at the post office in the traditional way? It's safer, easier and helps keep the post offices open for all the other services they provide. The same thing has been happening with driving licence applications and booking driving tests for several years now and nothing has been done about it. The official line has always been that if you want to pay someone to rip you off and steal your credit card details it's up to you

I had this happen when i applied for a provisional licence filling in the form and paying online. Paid £50 and then recieved the provisional application form printed with my details and then saying i need to attatch my photo etc and send back to dvla with another £50

This is a deliberate scam permitted by our own Government.

If people use one of these sites from Nov this year, when we will no longer receive a tax disc how can we be sure the DVLA received our tax and that we are in fact taxed? How is the new system going to work.

I have been caught out buying a personal number plate online. I checked the cost with the DVLA then the nexd day bought the number and was charged VAT on top. DVLA do not charge VAT extra. Then I found out the website looked like DVLA but was not.

search engines should always put official sites first and not paid for sites.

I got caught out by this, It was on the top of the search engine, the colouring and wording was identical as the gov one. When I got a letter from dvla asking me to send money for a updated licence, this was legit. I asked why? I said I had already paid for a update for a new picture and change of address. They asked for the website I used, and said this was not a legit gov site. He asked why I had used this, I told him it was a official gov site at the very top of the search engine. I felt so stupid and angry, I fought I new best. I wrote a email to the company saying how they manipulated me and we're advertising a non legit site and I was going to contact office of fair trade unless they returned my money. They did minus a £8 service charge. I took this on the chin for a lesson to be learnt.

If this sort of scam isn't illegal then it should be. The DVLA should have a prominent banner on its own website stating it is the official DVLA site.

Sadly I was 'scammed' on a similar website for a passport application when I was in a hurry and I am not in the vulnerable category. It is simply not good enough that the Office of Fair Trading do not make these companies have a large banner on their site explaining exactly what their 'service' is.

Makes you wonder how stupid and corrupt the Office of Fair Trading is. Think just about any member of the public would say these sites are deliberately trying to dupe the public. Perhaps if search engines were forced by law to put the official web site first then this con would be reduced. The test of legality should be 'would the most vulnerable in our society who are likely to use this service be taken in by the site?'

Hi I have just had 2 letters from ask mid and the dvla drivers penalties saying that I am not on mid but I have checked and I am according to my insurance company is this a scam can they do this I have never had anything like this before

The time has come for me to renew my driving licence - just about to reach 70 years of age. A quick search on Google brought up at least 3 sites offering renewal services before the official one. Charges varied from £27 to a massive £85 for what in fact is no more than a form filling service. The actual cost for renewal is ZERO . . . but it would be very easy to be fooled and ripped off if one is not computer savvy or even if a little nervous when dealing with organisations on-line..

I got caught out by this. Only realised something was not right after I had entered all my details. I stopped before I had to pay anything. The site looked just like the DVLA's. I thought I was fairly good at spotting internet scams so this really angered me. I just hope i'm not going to become a victim of identity theft now. I did report it to the DVLA an the police. Keep a careful eye out for these low lifes!

Apart from the extra costs you have to wonder about the security of information passed to these websites!

Nearly got caught even though I was aware that these scams existed! Just make sure - and CHECK - that when applying you are on the correct site!

There are other sites that invite the public to use non-government sites to renew licences, eg passports. The government should act to close these sites and stop rogue operators from attempting to fleece the public.