The government has ditched the need for motor insurance certificates, a move that's billed as part of an effort to cut red tape for motorists.
The move will mean drivers no longer need to have either a paper or electronic certificate. The abolition of the requirement is partly because it is rarely if ever needed in practice as police can check insurance details using the Motor Insurance Database, which is updated continuously.
The AA noted that paper certificates were of little use anyway as people could set up an installment plan for their policy, get the certificate (which covered the entire year), then cancel the payments. There was also little protection against forged certificates.
Another change affecting insurance is with the Statutory Off Road Notification, the legal declaration that a car isn't being used. Earlier this year rules changed so that drivers had to have a SORN to avoid the need for insurance, even if they aren't driving the car. At the moment a SORN must be renewed every year, but in future it will be valid until the car is back on the road.