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V5C explained

DVLA Vehicle registration document

Below, you will find everything you need to know about this essential car document. The V5C may also be referred to as the “vehicle logbook,” “V5 form,” or simply “logbook.”

Whether you are buying a vehicle or already own one, you should understand all parts of the V5C registration certificate.

Most importantly, if you are selling your vehicle, you may be interested to know that not having a V5C can significantly impact your vehicle’s value. It is also worth noting that failure to keep your V5C updated can result in a substantial fine.

Read through this V5C explained guide to find out everything you need about this document.

1970's Lady looks over her left shoulder.

V5C Explained: An Introduction to the DVLA Log book

The V5C officially records the Registered Keeper (or Keepers) of a vehicle. The Keeper is the person who is responsible for registering and taxing the vehicle. In most instances, the Keeper is also the vehicle’s owner, though this is not always the case.

The V5C is a 4-page document that is red in colour. Prior to 2012, the document was blue. However, due to the theft of numerous blank documents in 2006, it is strongly suggested that the blue V5C document be replaced with a red version.

If you are the purchaser, you can request that the current owner replace the existing V5C logbook prior to exchanging any money.

When purchasing a vehicle, it is always a good idea to check your receipt or bill of sale to determine if the seller is also the legal owner. This can also be done through an ownership checking site. When you finalise your purchase and take ownership of the vehicle, the previous owner is legally required to provide you with the green ‘new Keeper’s details’ slip of their logbook (V5C/2).

If you are the seller, you will be expected to provide the vehicle’s V5C/2 form to the new owner at the time the sale is finalised.

Although it is recommended that you do not purchase a vehicle unless you are given the V5C/2, you may choose to do so. In this case, you will need to apply for a new logbook. Any vehicle that is sold without the V5C/2 could indicate you are purchasing the vehicle from someone other than the registered owner.

If you have built, altered, or imported a vehicle, you will need to register the vehicle. Your V5C will come in the post.

Classics and Kit cars

If you have created a kit car, restored a classic, or made radical modifications to a vehicle, you must complete the application ‘Built-Up Vehicle Inspection Report’ (For V627/1). It is vital to retain official receipts for any parts you have used. Also, you may need to go through the Type Approval process. If the vehicle is a classic, you may also have to join a recognised owner’s club, who will send someone to inspect the vehicle and approve it for use on the road.

Vehicle Registration Certificate

What Is Included in a V5C Logbook?

The following information is included in a V5C:

Initial registration date in the UK

Current registered Keeper

Past registered Keeper (s) / number of owners

Specific vehicle details, including colour, make and model, size of the engine, frame number/ chassis/ VIN, and vehicle tax class

V5C Issue date

Any forms must be completed and returned to the DVLA if the vehicle undergoes any change or the keeper changes. Some sections should be completed if the vehicle is scrapped or if it is permanently exported.

DVLA Registered Keeper: V5 Change of Address

You should be certain that your address remains current on your V5C. Failure to do so could potentially result in prosecution by the DVLA and a fine of as much as £1,000. However, there could be even greater consequences.

In addition to car tax check reminders and other forms being sent to your registered address, speeding fines and other conviction notices are also sent to this address. This means that you may only learn that your insurance is expired or you have a speeding conviction when filing a claim for theft or accident.

Thankfully, the DVLA does allow you to check your driving license online prior to updating your V5 documents.

There is no charge for this service.

To update the address on your V5, you should go to section 6 of the document and complete the new house number and address.

The completed form should be posted to:
DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BA

Be certain you do not check the box for ‘New Keeper’ or fill in your name before posting it. It is also important to keep the address on your driving license updated. This can be done online. Your new driving license should be posted in one to two weeks.

After changing your address, it may take as long as six weeks to arrive in the post. If your car tax is up for renewal in the next month, you are encouraged to complete your tax first. Then, post your V5C.

Another option is to take your V5C to a post office that deals with vehicle tax. Here, you will be able to pay your tax and change your address at the same time. Be sure to take a copy of your MOT checklist certificate with you.

Lady wondering how to replace her lost DVLA logbook.

Lost My Logbook: Obtaining a Replacement V5C

If your original logbook becomes damaged/destroyed or is stolen, you will also need to request a replacement V5C. This can be done following the same procedures listed above under ‘What if You Lose Your Logbook.’ You will still be responsible for paying a £25 charge.

If your tax is due, you have the option of ordering a new logbook via a Post Office that handles vehicle tax. You should take your completed V62 application, as well as the £25 fee, with you. Before your request can be processed, they will need to make sure they can tax your vehicle without your V5C and order your new logbook.

V5C Explained: Applying for a V5C

When you purchase a vehicle, the dealer or previous owner will register you as the new owner. Your new V5C should arrive in the post within two to four weeks. If it does not, or you purchase a vehicle without the logbook, you may need to apply for a new V5C. This can be done using the same procedure detailed above.

If your vehicle has been built, rebuilt, imported, or modified, you will also need to apply for a new V5C.

If the vehicle has been radically altered or kit-converted or is a kit car, you will need to complete Form V627/1 ‘Built-up Vehicle Inspection Report.’

The document requires you to detail all significant components.  You will also need the V5C registration certificate from the original vehicle, official receipts for the car and its parts, build plans, photographs of the car, and where required, proof of the Vehicle Type Approval.


If the vehicle is vintage or a classic, you will need to follow a slightly different process for registering your vehicle.  A reconstructed classic is one that was built from components taken from more than one vehicle from the original period.

All must be 25 years or older. In addition, it must be a true reflection of the marque. An old vehicle is one that has not been taxed since 1983 and may never have been registered with the DVLA.

In either case, you should follow the procedure detailed above for applying for a V5C.

However, you must also complete Form V765 ‘Register a Vehicle Under its Original Registration Number’ and have it endorsed by a vehicle owners’ club for an old car or submit a complete report and inspection for a reconstructed classic. This process may allow you to list your vehicle under an original or age-related registration number.

The V5C Explained: Transferring or Changing Ownership of a Vehicle Using a V5C

It is not necessary to sell a vehicle for an ownership transfer to occur. For instance, a parent may gift a vehicle to their child or one partner may take ownership from their former partner as part of a divorce settlement.

If you give away a vehicle, you will need to switch its legal ownership to the new owner. This is a simple process. However, this can only be done by the vehicle’s registered Keeper, so you will need to be sure you are listed as the registered Keeper before you go any further.

The new owner must retain the new keeper slip section until their new car document arrives.

Complete sections 6 and 8 of the V5C form. Be sure to fill it out and tick the box that asks if t changing Keeper. Then, post the completed form to:

DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BA.