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Vehicle Operators Licence applications to be completed online

A blog from the Traffic Commissioners explains why the Vehicle Operators Licence paper licensing applications will become a thing of the past.

Whether it’s buying vehicles, checking a bank balance, paying a tax bill or filing a Companies House return, practically every business transaction can be done online now.

And, commercial vehicle operators, are just as savvy as everyone else in doing things digitally.

From 1 April 2018, paper application forms won’t be available to download on GOV.UK, here’s why:

When the new Vehicle Operator Licensing (VOL) service launched in 2016, it gave operators the chance to do more online. For example, by the recent introduction of GOV.UK Verify which allows the user to sign an application digitally.

But GOV.UK wants to get more people using their VOL service. It has it’s advantages, one of these advantages is that the processing time speeds up considerably. 

But this isn’t to say that their paper application forms are obsolete (even though from the 1st April 2018 paper forms became unavailable to download from GOV.UK), they are available through the Contact Centre for operators who don’t have access to these digital services.

Some research took place to find out why people are still applying by paper when the digital service is available. And according to GOV.UK, they spoke to operators from different sectors, those running start-ups and existing businesses, as well as sole traders and larger firms and they found that the operators are already using online accounts and working digitally in most areas of their business. But when it comes to operator licensing, people in the industry often recommend using the paper forms because that’s what they’ve always done.

It’s not that operators don’t want to apply for extra vehicles or update their address details online. It’s just that, some still associate operator licensing with a paper application.

GOV.UK want to give the best service to compliant operators and this means encouraging more people to apply online.

The Traffic Commissioners perform a really important gatekeeper role in deciding who gets to run vehicles and how many they can operate. That won’t change, because more applications are made online and can be processed more quickly.

To find out more about how to apply online for your Vehicle Operator Licensing (VOL) click here


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Adam Hewitt

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