DVLA Current Services Guidance

As we continue to receive many questions by telephone and email, we are updating our advice to member organisations.

DVLA has introduced guidance relative to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which can be found here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/dvla-coronavirus-covid-19-update. As the Agency continues to focus on the needs of drivers and vehicles supporting the response to the virus including all aspects of the NHS, emergency services, delivery vehicles etc, DVLA are not accepting enquiries by post but advise that all online services are available.

Some requirements such as first registration of used vehicles, change of tax class and V765 applications cannot be progressed via online services.

Post Offices are generally open and providing their usual facilities but subject to varying opening hours and social distancing requirements. But of course, any transaction requiring input from the DVLA such as a replacement V5C may be delayed.

Taxation Queries via the Post Office

If you wish to register your vehicle as historic i.e. built before 1 January 1980, which is clearly stated on your V5 or V5C, you can visit your Post Office to complete the task. Some of our members have provided some practical experience of a few Post Offices needing to view the government guidance. Therefore, if you do experience any difficulties, please be advised to show them the links to the Government websites below:



Alternatively, you can find more information on our website here:


If you feel your vehicle was built before 1 January 1980, but your V5C does not state this, you will either need to wait for DVLA to re-open fully or to pay the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED). We have confirmation from DVLA that any full months remaining on the license will be refunded once a successful application to change to historic tax class is achieved. However, it is worth mentioning it is not possible to back date/refund the license fee to the date the historic tax rate became applicable.  

Can I use my historic vehicle on the road?

Firstly, any vehicle used on the road must be licensed, regardless of its age, even 40 plus year old vehicles which qualify for nil Vehicle Excise Duty. However, it is not necessary to be in possession of a V5C or to be able to use the vehicle. This is demonstrated with the precedent of a vehicle being able to be driven to and from an MoT test without being licensed. No documents are required; however the vehicle must be insured.

If you have sent documents to DVLA and have not yet received a reply, you can only assume they are in store somewhere and have not officially been received by DVLA. If you own a vehicle less than 40 years old whereby tax is payable you can check your bank/card statement to see if the tax payment has been collected. You can also check the current status of your vehicle on DVLA’s Vehicle Enquiry Service (VES) https://vehicleenquiry.service.gov.uk/

If you are in possession of your V5C or the V11 reminder you can use the reference number to license the vehicle online. Even if you have just purchased the vehicle you can use the small part of the V5C which should state the reference number to complete the task.

If you do not have your V11 and have already sent your V5C to DVLA i.e. you are not in possession of your reference number, as frustrating as it is, you will need to wait until DVLA reopen.

Latest update.....

DVLA COVID-19 guidance was updated on 12 June and can be found here:


"Paper applications sent to our office in Swansea will take longer to process as they must be dealt with in person on site, where we are working with reduced numbers to meet social distancing requirements. If you’ve already made an application we will process this and return any documentation as quickly as possible."

Feedback already received from the Wartburg Trabant IFA Club detailled that one of their members has received his V5 a short time ago which was posted to DVLA two weeks prior to lockdown.

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