§ Mr. Norman Fowler
asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will make a statement on the practice of reminding motorists that their road licences are due for renewal; and what is the estimated cost of this procedure.
§ Mr. Horam
Reminders are despatched to reach people two or three weeks before licences are due to expire, and they serve as simplified renewal application forms. Sufficient information is pre-printed on to the forms for the keepers of vehicles whose particulars have not changed simply to sign a form, date it, and indicate the period of the new licence which they require. The form can either be taken to a licensing post office or be taken or sent to a local vehicle licensing office and used to obtain a licence over the counter or through the post, and the form can subsequently be machine-read and the computer licensing record updated from it without clerical intervention.
The overall cost of sending out and processing renewal/reminder forms is probably less than the alternative. The 164W forms are a useful reminder for the forgetful and thus enhance the amount of revenue which is received on time. They avoid mistakes typically made by people who fill in ordinary licence application forms and the need to correct them. All in all, I regard the introduction of renewal reminders as one of the significant benefits of the new vehicle licensing system; they make life easier both for the public and for the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority.