Registering an old vehicle

Registering an old vehicle

England and Wales

What is an old vehicle?

In the early 1970s the DVLA began to record the registering and licensing of all new vehicles on a computer. The process also involved converting records already in circulation.

This continued until 1983, when it closed its database. To be able to retain a vehicle's original registration mark, it had to be registered by 30 November 1983. If it missed this deadline, the original number couldn't be retained. In 1990, rules were introduced to allow vehicles to claim back their original mark.

How do I register my vehicle under its original number?

To register a classic vehicle under its original number that is not recorded at the DVLA and has not been taxed since 1983, you will need to:

  • Complete form V55/5 available from the DVLA
  • Complete form V765 (PDF)
  • Provide a recent photograph of the vehicle and documentary evidence of the vehicle's previous registration history, such as:
    • The RF60/VE60 handwritten log book
    • Pre-1983 tax discs
    • Old insurance certificates/MOT certificates
    • Archive/library records
    • Other documentary evidence linking it to the original mark

The application should be sent to relevant authorised owners or enthusiasts club to be authorised. Applications from vehicle owners clubs (PDF) will be considered in the first instance. You don't have to join the club but you can be charged a fee and they might want to inspect the vehicle.

What happens next?

The DVLA will issue a new V5C registration certificate and allocate either the original registration number or another number appropriate to the age of the vehicle. Both these numbers will be non-transferable.

Northern Ireland

If you want to register a classic vehicle that was previously registered in Northern Ireland and you hold the RF60 form (old log book), you only need to send that with a completed V62 form to the DVLA in Swansea. The DVLA will register the vehicle and issue your new V5C.

The original registration mark that is allocated won't be transferable to any other vehicle at a later date. More information on registering an old vehicle is available on the GOV.UK website.

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