Saturday, 15 May 2010

Backward DVLNI

I received my annual car tax reminder from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency of Northern Ireland (DVLNI) by snail mail during the week.

Car Tax can be renewed online in England and Wales. I saw an advertising campaign about this recently on the television. Is the service available in Scotland?

So, it seems, one rummages through the wardrobe, unearths the cheque-book, writes out a cheque with the old fountain pen, completes their form, encloses the cheque and insurance certificate in brown envelope provided, sticks a stamp thereon, and finds the most convenient pillar-box.

What has changed with them in fifty years? Might one gently suggest that they enter the 21st century?

I can certainly be reactionary in some instances - resistant to change, especially if it is retrograde; nevertheless, I do embrace new technology.

Here is the response I received from :-

"It is unknown, at present, if Northern Ireland will introduce this facility. If you have any further queries, do not hesitate to contact me. Regards, Lesley, Vehicle Licensing Enquiries".

I have sent a copy of this article to the Department of the Environment NI for the attention of the Minister; and to the relevant agency.


Anonymous said...

Wouldn't have thought you would have advocated anything entering the C21st, Tim! Nothing promising seems to have arisen in it yet. I hear the House of Lords shall soon be "entering the 21st Century" though. I wonder if one gets a higher rank of the peerage the more votes one gets!


Timothy Belmont said...

A mere anomaly! :-)

Neil said...

While I agree that the DVLNI is still way behind when it comes to embracing modern technology (although you can now finally book an MOT online), you can renew your car tax at a number of Post Offices around Northern Ireland - the list is at

I've been doing this for a few years now, and the ability to get my new tax disc in a couple of minutes, as opposed to the long waiting times in the main tax office in Belfast, is a welcome change.

You don't even need to dig out your chequebook or pen - the Post Offices accept cash and debit cards as well!

Mick Stella said...

You can renew via telepone. The number is on the DVLNI website.

Timothy Belmont said...

Is it a 0800 number? :-)

Mad Mandy said...

My dear you have only scratched the surface of the myriad agonies DVLNI are impowered to inflict on us mere mortals.
Have you tried ringing them? Please do. It's a hoot.
"Automation Annie" gives you multiple choice options and when you finally get within grasp of the section you want she says, "Sorry, the staff are busy. Call back later". And hangs up!
Have you tried to buy a so called "cherished number" from GB. If it is on a retention certificate (something that does not exist in NI)you have to pay two £80 transfer fees. Rip off.
The long suffering husband got a letter telling him to have his Mitsubishi L200 Animal MOT tested so he obeyed and made an appointment and paid the fee. He was turned away at the Coleraine test centre because the vehicle does not require a test until it is 4 years old. He did get a refund.
Fearing he could get clocked by the tax evasion camera peeps because the computer thinks he should be displaying MOT disk and can't, he rang DVLNI and got a human (remember them. Thought not)The human said they could not change the computer specification.
So he lives in fear of being sent to Guantanomo Bay every time he takes it out. You peeps may think that is silly but believe me ... our civil and human rights are being eroded all the time behind our backs. Did you know that if your number plate does not conform to that specified in new legislation ... yes legislation you can be fined and or imprisoned. I ask you. What the blazes is the world coming too?