The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

The Motor Insurance Database: What it contains and how it works

What is the motor insurance database?

The Motor Insurance Database (MID) records all insured vehicles in the UK. It's used by the Police and the DVLA to help make sure all vehicles are insured, and by drivers and insurers to find insurance details of vehicles involved in an accident.

The MID is managed by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), which works to reduce uninsured driving in the UK and compensates victims of uninsured and untraced drivers. All compulsory motor insurance underwriters are obliged by law to be a member of MIB and contribute to its funding.

How does a vehicle get added onto the motor insurance database?

In the case of private cars, the MID is updated by either the insurance company, authorised insurance representative or broker.

But who puts commercial vehicles on the MID? It depends. In the case of fleet, commercial or motor trade, some insurers allow customers to access and maintain the details for their vehicles themselves if they prefer. Here are the contact details for MID helpdesk services at insurers who let these commercial customers manage updates for their own vehicles:

Ageas Insurance Ltd[email protected]tel: 0345 125 8855
AIG[email protected]tel: 0208 774 5801
tel: 0208 774 5811
Allianz[email protected]tel: 0345 073 1118
Arista[email protected]tel: 0117 945 2950 / 2954
Aviva[email protected]tel: 0345 301 5762
Axa[email protected]tel: 0330 024 5345
Axa Corporate[email protected]n/a
AXA NI[email protected]n/a
[email protected]
Catlin[email protected]tel: 0207 458 5816
Chaucer[email protected]tel: 0122 728 4700
CIStbatba
Cornhill[email protected]tel: 0148 355 2406
Cornish Mutual[email protected]tel: 0845 017 5513
Ecclesiastical[email protected]n/a
Equity Red Star[email protected]tel: 0344 335 6533
Groupama[email protected]n/a
Hiscox[email protected]n/a
KGM[email protected]tel: 0208 530 1842
LV=[email protected]tel: 0800 028 9566
MDS[email protected]tel: 0870 121 3408
Mitsuisee MDSsee MDS
NFU[email protected]tel: 0800 197 1185
NIG[email protected]tel: 0345 609 0689
Protector Insurance[email protected]n/a
QBE[email protected]tel: 0800 389 2674
RSA[email protected]tel: 0330 102 3603
Rural[email protected]tel: 0142 387 6032
Summit[email protected]tel: 0124 539 6396
Tradexn/atel: 0333 313 2140
Zurich[email protected]tel: 0800 085 0597

Am I on the motor insurance database?

To find out if your vehicle shows as insured on the MID, simply enter your registration number at askMID.com. It's free to check. If your vehicle doesn't show as insured (and it's been more than a week since you bought the policy) or the details are incorrect, contact your insurance provider immediately.

It's illegal to drive or keep your car on the road without insurance; if you need a car insurance policy, click here to buy one ASAP.

How quickly does motor insurance database update?

According to the MID, the database is updated over 10,000 times an hour. However, insurers report that it can take up to a week for the motor insurance database to reflect new car insurance policies.

According to the rules, data is meant to be uploaded to the MID within a week for private cars (or two week for commercial vehicles). The Motor Insurance Bureau and the Department for Transport stipulate that members (e.g., insurance companies and brokers) must supply data for 95% of MID 1 policies (i.e., private car) within seven days of the effective date of the record and within 14 days for MID 2 policies (i.e., commercial, fleet and motor trade).

Can I drive if my policy doesn't show up on the MID?

It's legal to drive if your car isn't in the MID, so long as you have valid insurance. If your insurer has confirmed that your new car insurance policy is valid and effective, then you can technically drive even if you're not in the MID yet—but you might be in for a hassle.

You can be fully insured and able to drive legally even if your car doesn't show in the MID—it could simply be that the database has not been updated to reflect your details yet. And as mentioned above this can take a week or so. If you're unsure, contact your insurance provider to confirm that you're covered and safe to drive.

That said, if your car isn't in the database yet there's a chance that ANPR cameras will pick up your vehicle as 'uninsured' because it's not in the database (even if it is insured). In that case, you could receive a letter as part of Continuous Insurance Enforcement and the police could even stop you and say 'The car's not coming up on the database as being insured'.

But as long as you have a valid motor insurance policy and you contact your insurance provider so they make any necessary updates so it appears on askMID.com, then you won't be issued with a fixed penalty. This is also why you should always carry your Certificate of Motor Insurance with you in your vehicle; if you can prove you actually are insured, you can avoid having your vehicle seized and impounded if the police ask you for proof of insurance.

My car is insured but not on MID—what do I do?

New insurance policies can take a few days (even up to a week) to show on the MID. If more than a few days have passed call your insurer to follow up. You can drive before your car shows up as insured in the database, but you might be inconvenienced by doing so. Your car could be caught by ANPR cameras as 'uninsured' and you could receive a fixed penalty notice (which you can fight with a copy of your Certificate of Motor Insurance).

Be sure to carry your certificate of insurance with you when driving as proof of insurance in case you're pulled over by the police. If you can't produce evidence of insurance and the police have reason to believe you're uninsured, they can technically seize your vehicle (Road Traffic Act 1988 section 165A(3)). And while police can use the MIB Police Helpline which might help clear up the issue, they're only open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm as of the time of writing.

Are all cars on motor insurance database?

Yes, all (insured) vehicles are listed on the MID. It's a legal requirement. Uninsured cars (that is, cars without the minimum compulsory third party cover) are not in the database.

Can insurers check the motor insurance database?

Yes, insurers can check the motor insurance database—in fact, anyone can.

Can I check the MID for another vehicle's insurance details?

Yes, for a fee of £4.50 you can check the insurance details of another vehicle in event of an accident. You'll need to provide:

  • Your name
  • Your reference or initials
  • Your email address
  • Your involvement in incident (e.g., pedestrian, motorist, car owner, cyclist, passenger, property owner or other)
  • Your registration number
  • Third party registration number
  • Incident date

Can you access the motor insurance database at weekends?

Yes, you can check the MID 24 hours a day, 7 days a week online at askMID.com.

How to contact the motor insurance database

The motor insurance database contact phone number is 01908 830001, and they can be reached between 9am and 5pm for claims enquiries. Alternatively you can use the MIB contact form or email them via [email protected]

Can motor insurance database be incorrect

It is possible for the details in the MID to be incorrect; for example, a registration (number plate) could have been entered incorrectly. That's why it's always a good idea to check to make sure your vehicle appears after you buy a policy.

Is it mandatory to register with motor insurance database?

Yes, but it's not the responsibility of private car owners to do so—your insurer, authorized representative or broker will upload the details.

How long are insurance details held in the MID?

Vehicle insurance data is held at the MID for 7 years. If you want to check your insurance history regarding who you are currently insured with or have been insured with in the past seven years, complete a Data Subject Access Request.

Will Cat N affect motor insurance database?

The MID only relates to whether or not a car is insured; another database also run by the MIB called the Motor Insurance Anti Fraud and Theft Register (MIAFTR) contains recoreds of claims that have resulted in a written off or stolen vehicle. So a Cat N vehicle (Repairable Non-Structural) would show up there. MIAFTR is used by HPI and Experian to determine if a car has been written off (you can check if a specific vehicle is listed as written off or stolen by initiating a Vehicle Provenance Check with HPI, Experian or other independent companies).

Can the motor insurance database tell me about claims I've had?

No, the MID only provides information regarding the insurance status of a car, not claims. There's another database that records incidents reported to insurers (whether or not they resulted in a claim): the Claims Underwriting Exchange (CUE). If you have reported details of an accident to your insurer (even if you haven't claimed), details of the incident will be recorded on the CUE database.

Does the DVLA use the motor insurance database?

Yes, there are continual checks between the MID and the DVLA. Details are compared rigorously and warning letters are issued daily to vehicles that appear to be uninsured.

How do I update the motor insurance database?

Only your insurance company, authorized representative or broker can update the MID (except in the case of fleet, commercial and motor trade, see above). If you spot an error, contact them to initiate the update. If you've simply bought a new policy, they should update it within a week—keep checking to be sure.

Comments