If you drove the vehicle on a road without displaying a valid tax disc
then you would be committing an offence contrary to Section 33 Vehicle
Excise and Registration Act 1994. Therefore, I would wait until your
?33.?(1) A person is guilty of an offence if?
(a) he uses, or keeps, on a public road a vehicle in respect of
which vehicle excise duty is chargeable, and
(b) there is not fixed to and exhibited on the vehicle in the
manner prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State a
licence for, or in respect of, the vehicle which is for the time being
(2) A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) is liable
on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 1 on the standard
(3) Subsection (1)?
(a) has effect subject to the provisions of regulations made by
the Secretary of State, and
(b) is without prejudice to section 29.?
I hope this answers your question. If it does not, or the answer is
unclear, then please ask for clarification of this research before
rating the answer. I shall respond to the clarification request as
soon as I receive it.
Personal knowledge as a former police officer.
Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994
Request for Answer Clarification by
08 Aug 2006 09:17 PDT
Thank you very much for your answer. Two points for clarification:
> (a) he uses, or keeps, on a public road a vehicle in respect
> of which vehicle excise duty is chargeable, and
Is "excise duty" the legal term for "road tax" as we generally know it?
> (b) there is not fixed to and exhibited on the vehicle in the
> manner prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State
> a licence for, or in respect of, the vehicle which is for the
> time being in force.
What is "the manner prescribed by [the] regulations"? Where are these
regulations? Could I not display the reference code from my
confirmation e-mail? Wouldn't the police have access to the
vehiclelicence.gov.uk database to verify this?
Clarification of Answer by
09 Aug 2006 02:01 PDT
Thank you for your clarification questions.
Q. Is "excise duty" the legal term for "road tax" as we generally know it?
Yes. In the Act, "a licence taken out for a vehicle is in this Act
referred to as a "vehicle licence"." It is colloquially known as Road
Section 1 Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994
Q. ...Manner prescribed by [the] regulations
The Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 2002
Section 6. Exhibition of vehicle and nil licences.
Sub section (4). The licence shall be exhibited on the vehicle -
"(c) in the case of any vehicle fitted with a glass windscreen in
front of the driver extending across the vehicle to its near side, on
or adjacent to the near side of the windscreen;"
You will see that this Section 6 states at the beginning the following:
?6. - (1) When a vehicle licence or nil licence has been delivered to
the Secretary of State with an application for a replacement licence,
no licence need be fixed to and exhibited on the vehicle to which the
licence relates until the replacement licence is obtained.?
This section appears to be for those who physically attended a DVLA
office to change their tax disc and have temporarily removed it from
their windscreen to have it exchanged.
I assume that as your vehicle has been off the road and that you made
a SORN declaration. If so, you have to wait until the tax disc arrives
before you can use the vehicle. If you did not, then you have already
committed an offence.
?When SORN has been declared for a vehicle the registered keeper must
ensure that it will not be used or kept on a public road until a new
licence has been taken out. The declaration will be valid for 12
months unless the vehicle is re-licensed, sold, permanently exported
I hope this helps. I also tried to call the DVLA to confirm this
information but they required the reference number so I was unable to
pursue it further.