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Vehicle tax for disabled people

If you’re a disabled person you may be exempt from paying vehicle excise duty (vehicle tax) if you are in receipt of the higher rate of mobility of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA), War Pensioners Mobility Supplement (WPMS) or have an invalid carriage.

If you have entitlement to one of the above benefits you may be entitled to a free tax disc for your vehicle. Once you have your first free tax disc, subsequent applications can be made through the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s (DVLA) online and telephone vehicle licensing services, or at a licence issuing Post Office® branch or DVLA local office.

What you need to know

  • the exemption can only be claimed for one vehicle at a time
  • you must pay vehicle tax on any additional vehicles
  • you can nominate someone else (a nominee) to drive for you. But the car must:
  • be registered either to you or your nominee
  • only be used for your benefit (for example shopping or getting prescriptions)
  • be insured for the nominee or anyone else who drives the vehicle for your purposes

How to claim exemption if you are getting DLA or WPMS

Before you can get a free tax disc, you will need to apply for an exemption certificate from the Agency that issued the benefit. The process is slightly different for some Motability customers (see 'Motability Contract Hire Vehicles' below).

If you have nominated someone to use their car for your purposes, the exemption certificate will need to show your name and that of the nominee.

If you get the higher rate of the mobility component of DLA

Contact the agency below and ask for exemption certificate DLA 404.

Disability and Carer Benefits Directorate
Disability and Carers Service
Warbreck House
Warbreck Hill

Tel: 0845 712 3456

Hearing impaired Minicom users:

Tel: 0845 722 4433

If you get the War Pensioners Mobility Supplement

Contact the agency below and ask for exemption certificate WPA 442.

Service Personnel and Veterans Agency

Tel: 0800 169 2277

Hearing impaired Minicom users:

Tel: 0800 169 3458

Motability Contract Hire vehicles

If you are on the Motability Contract Hire scheme in Great Britain, Motability will register and license your vehicle for you. They will hold the Vehicle Registration Certificate for the duration of you contract with them. Motability will also arrange for you car to be taxed annually in the disabled taxation class and will send you your new tax disc. This means that you will no longer need to apply for an exemption certificate in order to tax your vehicle. It is therefore very important that you tell Motability to any changes to your address or circumstances. 

NOTE: The “Use” restrictions above also apply if you have a Motability vehicle. Motability intends making it a condition of their scheme that all contract hire vehicles are licensed in the Disabled class. If you feel that you are unable to meet the use restrictions above then you must notify Motability so that the appropriate rate of vehicle excise duty can be paid.

How to claim exemption if you have an invalid carriage

You do not need to be in receipt of a disability benefit or apply for an exemption certificate in order to get a free tax disc for an invalid carriage.

Your invalid carriage will need to be registered with the DVLA and you will be entitled to a free tax disc if the vehicle:

  • weighs less than 509kg
  • is adapted, used or kept on a road for a disabled person

However, your invalid carriage does not need to be registered or display a tax disc if it:

  • weighs less than 113.4kg
  • is for foot-way use only
  • has a maximum speed of 4 mph

What you need to remember

  • if  you sell the vehicle or your entitlement ends, you should return the disabled tax disc to DVLA, Swansea SA99 1AL or to a DVLA local office
  • the exemption certificate is only valid until the expiry date shown on it
  • if the certificate has expired, is full, or has been lost, a replacement must be obtained from the Agency that issued the exemption certificate before you apply for your free tax disc
  • each time you apply for a free tax disc the entitlement certificate will be completed and stamped by the clerk at the issuing office
  • each time you renew your free tax disc using DVLA’s online or telephone re-licensing services, the DVLA will make an electronic check of your entitlement with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or Veterans Agency
  • if any of your personal details change eg name or address, you must return the certificate to the Agency that issued it for amendment
  • the certificate is not valid if any alterations are made to it
  • if your benefit ends, your exemption certificate should be returned to the Agency that issued it
  • if you are in hospital for more than 28 days (84 for children), the exemption from vehicle tax still applies - the vehicle must continue to be used for your direct purposes

Obtaining your free disabled tax disc

If you have entitlement to disability exemption, where and how you obtain your first free tax disc, will depend on the documents you have to hand.

If you already have a disabled tax disc and provided you are the registered keeper of your vehicle, you can renew your disabled tax disc online, over the phone, in person or by post.

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