The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency – better known as DVLA (or, if you’re Welsh, Asiantaeth Trwyddedu Gyrwyr a Cherbydau), is a government body that takes care of matters relating to both drivers and cars in most of the UK.
While the DVLA is responsible for England, Scotland and Wales; Northern Ireland has its own organisation responsible for such matters called the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA).
With their head offices in Swansea, Wales, the organisation serves many purposes that benefit and give the British public cause to complain in equal measure. One of DVLA’s main functions is the make sure that untaxed cars are kept off the roads, as well as keeping up to date records on which cars have been written off after an accident. While most drivers are satisfied with this arm of their business, it is their function within speeding camera fines and keeping track of who hasn’t paid the London congestion charge that cause the most complaints.
Most drivers contact with DVLA is limited to a few times a year at most. Those looking to start driving have to apply for their licence through the organisation, and from there it is mainly the renewal of Road Tax (essentially, a tax disc) that causes many to get in touch with them. DVLA also offers replacement car logbooks, lost or stolen drivers licences and the selling of personalised registration numbers (also known as vanity plates).