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New Vehicle Registration Certificate (V5C)

From 1 July 2005 all existing old-style V5 Registration Documents (formerly known as log books) will no longer be valid. You may well have been issued with a new V5C registration certificate already. The new certificate can be recognised by its prominent blue front page showing the words "Registration Certificate".

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has been issuing the new V5C Registration Certificate since 1 January 2004. Since June 2004, motorists using the V11 renewal reminder form to re-license or make a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) will automatically have been issued with the new certificate. By the end of June 2005 the majority of registered keepers should have received the new certificate, including those who have taxed their vehicle (using the V11 renewal reminder form) or made a SORN, during June 2005.

A TV campaign broadcast between 12-29 June encouraged all vehicle keepers who have not received the new Registration Certificate to send their old-style V5 Registration Document to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BA, with a covering letter.

This includes keepers whose vehicles are off road being renovated, or exempt from car tax for another reason. Keepers of old or classic vehicles who are concerned that they might lose information on their car's history may request the return of the old style V5 in the covering letter.

The introduction of the new certificate will not affect entitlement to registration marks. Motorists who have a valid claim on a vehicle and its registration mark will not be disadvantaged. The V765 scheme which enables old vehicles to be re-united with their original registration marks, will be unaffected by these changes.

Why do vehicle keepers need a new V5C?

All motorists are asked to ensure they are issued with the new V5C Registration Certificate, as after 30 June 2005 failure to produce a V5C could cause problems when selling a vehicle. After this date, motor traders and private buyers may refuse a sale if the vehicle keeper is unable to produce the new certificate.

Keep it safe, keep it up-to-date

Vehicle keepers should keep their new certificate safe and remember to destroy the old V5 Registration Document. This is necessary as a crime prevention measure to prevent 'car cloning' and protect honest motorists. If there are two documents in circulation a stolen vehicle could be given false number plates and could steal the identity of a legitimate vehicle. It is also important that DVLA is informed of any changes to vehicle keeper details. The new car tax rules, introduced in January 2004, mean that until the vehicle keeper informs DVLA they no longer possess the vehicle they will remain liable for its car tax and any penalties for non payment.

Keepers are asked to ensure that their personal details are correct and that the easily identifiable characteristics such as make, model, colour, VIN/chassis and engine numbers on their new Registration Certificate are correct. If there are any inaccuracies the registration certificate, the V5C must be returned to DVLA for amendment. The Guidance Notes INS(160) that accompany the V5C provides information on how to do this. These are available for download on the Motoring leaflets link below.

Why change?

The new Registration Certificate has been developed to comply with European Directive 1999/37/EC, agreed by all Member States, which provides for the introduction of a common format for registration certificates. This will help with the identification of vehicles in international traffic and be used for re-registration throughout the European Union. The new style certificate also has added security features to assist law enforcement.

Northern Ireland

To ensure a consistent approach and common format, the design of the Registration Certificate has also been adapted for use in Northern Ireland.

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