How to renew a tax disc

Updated April 17, 2017

Paying your annual vehicle tax is a chore that many people put off to the last minute. In the United Kingdom, all vehicles used on the road must be taxed, and drivers need to display a valid tax disc on the vehicle. Drivers who fail to show a legitimate tax disc risk a fine and, in some cases, the DVLA will impound or wheel-clamp the untaxed vehicle. The UK's DVLA (Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency) has made buying or renewing a tax disc much easier by offering online and telephone payment options.

Buy or renew your vehicle tax disc in person at any Post Office branch or local DVLA office. To buy the tax disc you must bring the vehicle’s V5 registration document, a valid certificate of motor insurance and, if the vehicle is more than three years old, a valid MOT certificate. Payment options include cash, debit card, cheque, Post Office saving stamps or Postal Order.

Licence your vehicle over the telephone. This option is available to the registered keeper of the vehicle. You must also already have valid motor insurance and an MOT certificate, if necessary. The DVLA will check these details on its computer databases when you call to buy your vehicle tax. Pay by debit card or credit card. The DVLA levies a small service charge for credit card payments.

Buy the tax disc online through the DVLA or DirectGov websites. You must be the vehicle’s registered keeper and hold valid motor insurance and an MOT Test certificate. Before buying online, have ready the the 16 digit reference number printed in the yellow box on the front of the vehicle tax remineder form. Alternatively, the DVLA will accept the the 11 digit reference number on the vehicle’s registration document along with the vehicle registration number. Payment options include credit card or debit card. The DVLA will add a small charge for credit card payments.


If you have a vehicle but don't use it on the road, apply for a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) from the DVLA or at the Post Office.

Things You'll Need

  • Motor insurance
  • MOT Test certificate
  • V5 vehicle registration document
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About the Author

Adrian Grahams began writing professionally in 1989 after training as a newspaper reporter. His work has been published online and in various newspapers, including "The Cornish Times" and "The Sunday Independent." Grahams specializes in technology and communications. He holds a Bachelor of Science, postgraduate diplomas in journalism and website design and is studying for an MBA.