The objective of the number plate review survey carriedout in June, 2014 was to gain feedback from the public and number plate suppliers on the current regulations.
The Customer Experience and Research Unit have helpfully published an executive summary. Some of the findings include the following:-
- 98% of respondents were members of the public (2,797)
- 61% of the above had purchased number plates within the last 10 years.
The good news for us as a personalised number plate dealer is that 48% (more than 800) of the above group purchased new plates as a result of acquiring a personal registration.
At this point, it is relevant to briefly outline the regulations put in place as park of DVLA's drive to decrease car crime. All suppliers must register with DVLA as a RNPS (Registered Number Plate Supplier). For example, National Numbers Ltd was an early applicant registered as number 133. Our sister company, Jepson and Co, as a major manufacturer of acrylic plates for more than 100 years is, obviously, also registered.
To provide number plates legally, a supplier must have sight of the original V5/C's (registration certificate or logbook) plus personal ID such as a driving licence or utility bill.
The survey states that the preferred method of buying number plates was in person.
Interestingly, 55% of respondents said they needed to provide a V5/C as proof of entitlement with 46% being required to prove name and address as well.
Another part of the report stated that while the majority (67%) preferred to purchase "over the counter", 27% purchased from an online trader.
Remembering the regulations out-lined above, it is somewhat bizarre that the report authors go on to state: "Surprisingly, 27% of respondents advised that they didn't have to show any form of identification."
We, as a RNPS, have alerted DVLA on numerous occasions as to the presence and identity of these online suppliers who operate totally outside the regulations, often requiring an "office" outside the UK. Not only do the internet suppliers make a mockery of the security procedures designed to reduce car crime but they also represent unfair competition to registered suppliers who are subject to inspection, etc.
To our knowledge, little or nothing has been done by DVLA to remove these illegal traders from the internet. Neither have they accepted suggestions from RNPS representatives so that we can operate legally on the internet, namely to accept scanned copies of documentation.
We feel these actions by DVLA would increase security of the system.
What do you think?
It's that significant number "27" again. Some people attach significance to the face that Janis Joplin, Brian Jones, Kurt Cobain and Jim Morrison all died at 27 years of age.
We don't expect DVLA to include the above in their survey but surely they should be able to connect the 27% buying on the net with the 27% not being asked for ID and do something!