The law

Motor Insurance Database (MID)


The UK has one of the worst records in Western Europe for uninsured driving with an estimated one in twenty cars on the road being driven without the correct insurance.

The Motor Insurance Database (MID) was set up by the insurance industry to help combat this crime, reducing the number of uninsured motorists on the road, therefore reducing the cost to the industry of compensating victims of accidents involving uninsured motorists.

The MID also helps the UK comply with the 4th EU Motor Insurance Directive (now incorporated into the Codified Directive 2009/103/EC), which requires that insurance details of all vehicles in each member state can be easily identified by a national information centre. In the UK, this role is carried out by the MIB via its UK Information Centre.

What Is The MID Database?

The Motor Insurance Database (MID) is the only centralised database of motor insurance policy information for all insured vehicles.

All insurers who underwrite motor insurance for vehicles on UK roads are obliged to be members of the MIB and to submit the policy details of ALL vehicles to the MID.
The process of getting the information to the MID is managed by MIB but the data is loaded directly by the insurers and their representatives.

Updates are made to the database round the clock, every day of the year. Insurance companies and those acting on their behalf endeavour to get data about new policies and revisions to existing policies to the database as soon as they can. However, policy information cannot always be updated to the database immediately.

There are targets for insurance companies to get their data onto the database in a timely and accurate manner. Insurers are financially penalised if their data does not reach the database within timescales set by the Department for Transport.

The Police

The police actively use the database, making millions of enquiries each month in an effort to reduce the number of uninsured drivers on the road.

The DVLA make over one million enquiries each month in support of Electronic Vehicle Licensing, enabling customers to tax their vehicles online.

As part of Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) it is a legal offence to keep a vehicle without insurance unless you have notified DVLA that your vehicle is being kept off the road by means of a Statutory Off Road Notice (SORN).

You don’t have to be driving to be caught.

Under the CIE system, MIB and the DVLA are working in partnership to identify uninsured vehicles by comparing DVLA vehicle records against those held on the Motor Insurance Database (MID).

The registered keeper will be sent an Insurance Advisory Letter (IAL) telling them that their vehicle appears to be uninsured and warning them that they will be fined unless they take action. If the keeper fails to comply with the advice set out in the letter they will face:

  1. a fixed penalty notice of £100
  2. their vehicle being clamped, seized and disposed of
  3. a court prosecution with a maximum fine of £1,000

These insurance enforcement measures are in addition to the powers the police already have to seize an uninsured vehicle and fine the driver.

You can check your vehicle has a valid insurance policy on the Motor Insurance Database by using the FREE service at