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Abolition of the counterpart


communication toolkit 2

DVLA has released an updated communication toolkit for its abolition of the counterpart campaign

We’d like to thank you for any support to date in helping maximise awareness of our abolition of the counterpart campaign.

This email links to further campaign materials that provide targeted messages to specific customer segments, notably i) hiring a vehicle and ii) professional driving/driving for a living. The additional information contains advice for individuals and businesses who currently check the counterpart of their employees or customers. The materials also offer advice to people who may need to provide evidence of their driver record after 8 June 2015.

The link below will take you to a web page where you will find a comprehensive range of publicity and communications materials such as web banners, videos, editorials and images. We’ve added to the original toolkit so that they are all in one place for your ease of reference. We’d be very grateful if you would share the link with your members/customers.

Public information is available online. If you or your members/customers decide to use the web banners or other materials it would be helpful if they would link through to this page.

 If you have any further specific communication requirements please let us know by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can arrange to produce bespoke materials for you and your audiences.

As you will know industry stakeholders or commercial customers can keep up to date with the changes through our Inside DVLA blog. Our Digital Services blog is also available to keep you informed of progress on our new services.

Please note that DVLA will not be proactively communicating this campaign during the Purdah period of the general election. This is expected to start from 30 March 2015 until the new government is formed.





New powers to tackle drug driving

 A new law to make it easier for police to catch and convict drug drivers took effect today in England and Wales.


Drug test


Motorists who get behind the wheel after taking illegal drugs face a criminal record, loss of their licence for at least a year and a fine of up to £5000. The legislation makes it illegal to drive with certain drugs in the body above specified levels, including 8 illegal drugs and 8 prescription drugs. People using prescription drugs within recommended amounts will not be penalised.

Police forces will have access to new screening equipment to test suspected drug drivers. Officers can screen drivers for cannabis and cocaine at the roadside. They will be able to test for these and other drugs including ecstasy, LSD, ketamine and heroin at a police station, even if a driver passes the roadside check. New devices that can test for a greater number of drugs at the roadside will be developed in the future.

This new law, coupled with the testing kits, will make it quicker to identify those driving under the influence of drugs and help the prosecution of drug drivers. It remains an offence to drive when impaired by any drug, including medical drugs.

Road Safety Minister Robert Goodwill said:

This new law will save lives. We know driving under the influence of drugs is extremely dangerous; it devastates families and ruins lives.

The government’s message is clear - if you take drugs and drive, you are endangering yourself and others and you risk losing your licence and a conviction.

The law covers use of 8 drugs commonly associated with medicinal use, that are sometimes abused, that have been set at higher limits based on the available evidence of the road safety risk and to reflect their use as medicines. These are:

  • morphine used to treat pain – opiate/opioid based medication will metabolise (chemically change) into morphine and show in a blood result
  • diazepam
  • clonazepam
  • flunitrazepam
  • lorazepam
  • oxazepam
  • temazepam used to treat anxiety or inability to sleep
  • methadone used to treat drug addiction

Amphetamine used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Parkinson’s disease is also planned to be included within the offence shortly, subject to Parliamentary approval.

See drug driving and the law for further detail.

New research conducted by THINK! reveals that 1 in 5 (20%) of those surveyed know someone who has driven after taking illegal drugs. Almost half of those surveyed (49%) said that as a passenger, they would not feel comfortable asking a driver if they were under the influence of illegal drugs.

Of those who admitted to driving under the influence of illegal drugs, 55% said they did so because they felt safe to drive and 60% revealed they had previously driven a car when they were unsure if they were still under the influence of illegal drugs.

Dr Kim Wolff, Reader in Addiction Science at King’s College London and an advisor for the government drug drive policy, said:

It is worrying to note that so many drug drivers said they felt safe to drive after taking illegal drugs. Illegal drugs seriously impair skills required to drive safely, such as reaction time and decision making. In many cases those who take certain illegal drugs believe that they are safe to drive, but are in fact putting themselves and others at risk. Greater awareness of the dangers of drug driving is important as we move forward with this important step towards safer roads.

To support the legislation change, THINK! is launching a new awareness campaign on radio, online and in pub and club washrooms. Following the change in the law, THINK! advises:

Drugs can affect driving in numerous ways, ranging from slower reaction times, erratic and aggressive behaviour, an inability to concentrate properly, nausea, hallucinations, panic attacks, paranoia, tremors (or ‘the shakes’) to dizziness and fatigue. Getting behind the wheel in such a condition is dangerous for the driver, their passengers and other road users.

If a person has taken illegal drugs they should not endanger others by driving.

Taking a mixture of drugs to ‘sharpen up’ doesn’t work – in fact, combining drugs can have dramatic and unpredictable effects on a user’s state and ability to drive.

Don’t accept a lift from a driver you know or think may have taken drugs.

Some medicines that are sometimes abused are also included in the new law. However, if you are taking medicines as directed and your driving is not impaired, then you are not breaking the law. To find out more, ask your doctor or a member of the pharmacy team.

Roads media enquiries


It now costs less to retain your personalised registration!

Jason Llewelyn
, 9 March 2015 — Personalised registrations online services

From today (9 March 2015), the law has changed to reduce the fee to retain a personalised registration from £105 to £80. This will apply to both paper and online transactions.

This change sees the removal of the £25 fee currently in place to renew the retention of a vehicle registration number on an annual basis. The renewal period is also extended to 10 years. There is another added benefit, the fee is being removed to add or change nominee details.

Customers will see a significant reduction in turnaround times following the introduction of this service. DVLA systems will be updated in real time and the service will provide instant confirmation that the application has been successful.

So what happens next? The vehicle registration certificate (V5C) with the replacement registration number and retention certificate is issued by post to the registered keeper on DVLA’s records. There will no longer be a replacement MOT certificate issued to the keeper as the original remains valid.

Today also sees DVLA launching its online ‘Take a Registration Number off a Vehicle’ service which allows keepers and the motor trade to apply to retain a number online. The service will be launched as private beta and rolled out to the trade only for a 2-week period. The service is scheduled to be available on GOV.UK as public beta on 23 March 2015.

Once the online service is available to all, the next online service to be launched will be ‘Assign a personalised registration number’. Any registration number on retention (V778 certificate) or bought from DVLA (V750 certificate) can be assigned via the online service.




Motor traders are making the most of new online service

Jason Llewelyn 26 February 2015 — Vehicle management online services


On 20 January 2015, we released our latest new digital services ‘Selling a vehicle into the motor trade’. This allows motor traders to notify us online and in real time that a vehicle has been passed or part exchanged to them. The service has seen a dramatic increase in take up, week on week, since going live as the shift to digital transactions over paper becomes more popular.


Those using the service receive instant confirmation that we’ve updated their records. This gives the keeper peace of mind that their liability for the vehicle has stopped, which provides an excellent customer experience.


If there are any remaining periods of vehicle tax then the refund is calculated from the date the application is submitted online and an automatic refund is issued. Similarly, if there’s a Direct Debit in place for vehicle tax it’ll be cancelled from that day.


The motor trade will also reap the additional benefits of administrative and postage savings by not having to send the V5C/3 yellow slips to us.


The majority of feedback we’ve had  from the motor trade who’ve used the service is that it’s quick and easy to use, more convenient and is saving money on the costs incurred by sending hundreds of V5C/3 disposal notifications to DVLA by post every week. It’s also increased the quality of their customer service, as they’re able to help their customers deal with paperwork with DVLA and get refunds of remaining tax more quickly.


Customers are also impressed with the instant confirmation they get at the point of part exchange that they’ve  been removed from our records as the keeper.


Anyone in the motor trade not using the service can start doing so today and start making the most of the many benefits that the service has to offer. There’s no need to register with us, the service can be accessed on GOV.UK and is available Monday to Saturday 8am to 6pm.