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How to register a rebuilt, radically altered vehicle and kit car

If you are rebuilding or radically altering a vehicle, or building a vehicle from a kit, it'll need to meet certain criteria before the vehicle is registered. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) local office will assign the original or an appropriate registration mark on the evidence provided.

Vehicle identity

Sometimes, however, a vehicle needs to be rebuilt and this can call the identity of the vehicle into question. Is it the original that has simply been repaired, or have so many new or different parts been used in the rebuilding process that the original vehicle has been effectively broken up?   

In allocating a registration mark to a rebuilt vehicle, the Agency's main interest is to establish whether or not the vehicle is newly constructed with no previously registered identity (in the present form). Vehicles that have been substantially rebuilt need to be examined by one of the DVLA local offices.

Vehicle identity check

All cars notified to DVLA as ‘written off’ within salvage categories A, B or C are required to pass a  vehicle identity check (VIC), conducted by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), before DVLA will issue a registration certificate V5C.

If a car has been rebuilt as part of the repair process, this can call the identity of the car into question. When applying for a VIC you'll be asked to declare whether your car’s chassis or monocoque body has been replaced or modified in any way. The information you provide will enable VOSA to decide whether your VIC application can proceed or whether to refer your car to a DVLA local office for inspection, where it'll be assessed in line with DVLA’s rebuild guidelines instead.

If a car fails a VIC because its identity cannot be confirmed, it won't be entitled to retain its original registration mark. It may, be possible to register the car with DVLA if evidence of British National Type Approval in the form of a Minister's Approval Certificate can be produced. This may be obtained by applying to VOSA for a Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA). However before doing so, you'll need to obtain an alternative vehicle identification number (VIN) from the DVLA Local Office.

Following a successful IVA inspection and DVLA local office assessment, a 'Q' registration mark will be allocated.

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