Registering a vehicle for the first time

Registering a vehicle for the first time

Registering your vehicle

The dealer you buy your new vehicle from will normally have it registered to your name.

If you did not buy the vehicle from a dealer but imported it or built it you need to have it registered and taxed yourself.

How do I register?

Application forms

You'll need one of the following forms:

  • V55/4 - used to register a brand new vehicle, such as new imported vehicles, kit cars, etc.
  • V55/5 - used to register used vehicles, such as used imported vehicles, rebuilt vehicles, etc.

Advice on how to complete the V55/4 form is available here

You will need to confirm your name and address by including your photocard driving licence with your application (along with your paper counterpart if you are applying in Northern Ireland). If you can't do this, you should send one original document from each of the lists below to confirm your name and address.

To confirm your name:

  • Current DVLA or DVA paper driving licence
  • UK, EU or foreign passport
  • Marriage certificate
  • Decree nisi or absolute
  • Birth certificate

To confirm your address:

  • Utility bill valid within the last 3 months, e.g. gas, electricity, water, landline telephone, etc.
  • Bank or building society statement valid within the last 3 months
  • Medical card
  • Council tax or rates bill for current year

Supporting documents

In addition, you'll also need to send the following:

  • Current certificate of motor insurance
  • The cost of the vehicle licence excise duty (vehicle tax)
  • The first registration fee (if required)
  • Any documents you have relating to the vehicle
  • Current Ministry of Transport (MOT) certificate (if required)
  • Evidence of type or vehicle approval
  • Declaration that the vehicle is new (if applicable)
  • Appropriate HMRC form

What happens next?

Vehicle registration in Northern Ireland is also dealt with by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in Swansea. To register a vehicle for the first time you should send your V55 application and supporting documents to: DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BE.

They might want to inspect the vehicle and will contact you if necessary. They'll then assign the vehicle registration mark and send your V5C registration document. Your supporting documents will also be returned to you. If you'd like the documents returned by special delivery, you'll need to provide a prepaid self-addressed, special delivery envelope.

You will not receive a paper tax disc. There is no need to display a tax disc. Your vehicle tax must however be paid and kept up to date. You must not drive the vehicle if the vehicle tax is not paid.

What if I don't receive the supporting documents?

If you don't receive your documents back you must contact the DVLA in Swansea within one month of the date you made your application. If you wait longer the DVLA won't be able to investigate properly.

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