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DVLC - What Is It?

The DVLC in Swansea is how technically the name of the actual enormous concrete edifice which houses the DVLA. DVLC stands for Driver and Vehicle Licensing Centre and was the former title of the DVLA before the department was termed for agency.


In 1965, the Government put forward plans to centralise the system of vehicle registration since the numbers of vehicles and drivers were increasing dramatically. In 1974, the DVLC and the LVLO network (Local Vehicle Licensing Offices) began operating. The Centre was responsible for maintaining the vehicle record, issuing driving licences, vehicle registration documents etc.

The old red book driving licence (do you remember it?) was replaced by the computer produced document. By the way, reflective number plates became mandatory.

In 1984 a new computer system was installed at DVLC, providing a link between Swansea and the local department of transport offices which had been reduced from 81 to 53. In 1988, it was recommended that all the executive functions of government should be carried out by executive agencies in the interests of efficiency. Subsequently, DVLC became such an agency, being re-named DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Agency).

I wonder if the German inventor, Karl Benz, imagined all the red-tape and legislation which would become necessary because of his invention of the first petrol driven motor car in 1888. Transport laws have poured off the statue books ever since - how about this early one that stated that all cars had to have a crew of three which included someone to walk in front with a warning red flag for pedestrians and other traffic (oh - and to calm nervous horses).

More History (For Those Interested)

In 1903, the first driving licence was introduced, costing five shillings (around 25p), valid for one year and awarded to anyone who applied with no test either for driving ability or medical fitness required. In 1910, the dreaded road fund licensing is introduced.

Driving tests were not made compulsory until 1935 when they cost 7s - 6d (37.5p) - I seem to recall a dog licence costing around that price when I had my first dog in 1952, but I might be wrong! Interestingly, the driving test was suspended during that year of 1939 to 1945. To read more information, go to DVLC Number Plates and DVLC Registration or, better still, read on...

Since these early years, more and more regulations, primary and secondary legislation have been introduced, particularly around the transfer and retention of registration marks. We, at National Numbers Ltd, pride ourselves on the efficiency of our administration system which has been registered to the BSI quality mark for seven years. This means we have to be annually externally audited each year by a British Standard Institute Inspector - thus ensuring that our systems are designed to process your transfer as quickly and efficiently as possible. In additon, our admin. staff have been with us for more than 20 years so there is not much they don't know about DVLA regulations. In other words, your documents are safe in our hands so you can get on with the "fun" stuff of choosing your ideal plate. Use our clever searches to help you - go on take the plunge!

Related Number Plate Information

Are you looking for DVLA Forms to Transfer or Retain a registration?

DVLC home page

By Eric Craggs - Google+