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Legal guide to UK motoring, sections for law enforcement, Driver licensing, learner and new drivers, buying and selling, speeding fines, owning a vehicle, wheel clamping, traffic information.

How to register your vehicle and identity checks

To register a vehicle for the first time at a Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) local office you will need to present documentation to confirm your identity. This ensures that keeper name and address details provided at the time of registration are genuine, thereby preventing the fraudulent registration of vehicles.

The application forms

Name and address checks are required on all V55/4 and V55/5 applications to first register and license (tax) a vehicle.

  • V55/4 application for a first licence for a new motor vehicle and declaration for registration for use by individuals importing a new vehicle, kit cars etc
  • V55/5 application for a first licence for a motor vehicle and declaration for registration for use by individuals to register used vehicles, eg rebuilt

Identity documents required

To register and tax your vehicle using application forms V55/4 or V55/5 you must also provide, either your photocard driving licence or one original document which confirms your name and one original document which confirms your address.

Documentation confirming your name

  • current DVLA paper driving licence
  • United Kingdom or European Union or foreign passport
  • marriage certificate
  • decree nisi or absolute
  • birth certificate

Documentation confirming your address

  • utility bill valid within the last three months eg gas, electricity, water, landline telephone
  • bank or building society statement within the last three months
  • medical card
  • council tax bill for current year

What you need to do to register

You will need to apply to register and licence the vehicle at a DVLA local office. The application form V55/4 or V55/5 should be accompanied by the following documentation:

  • appropriate identity documents confirming your name and address (as listed above)
  • a current certificate of motor insurance
  • the cost of the vehicle licence excise duty (car tax)

  • the first registration fee of 38, if appropriate

any documents you have relating to the vehicle

  • MOT if required
  • evidence of type approval, single vehicle approval (SVA), enhanced SVA or motorcycle SVA
  • declaration of newness (if applicable)
  • appropriate HM Revenue and Customs form

If the vehicle is imported you will also require:

  • foreign registration document or any papers relating to the vehicle
  • evidence showing the date the vehicle was collected

What happens next

The DVLA local office may wish to inspect the vehicle before allocating an appropriate vehicle registration mark. Your identity documentation will be returned to you with the vehicle tax disc. If you would like the documents returned by special delivery, you will need to provide a prepaid self addressed, special delivery envelope. The DVLA cannot guarantee the return of the documents by a specific date.

The DVLA will aim to deliver a new registration certificate to you within six weeks of applying at a DVLA local office. Please allow six weeks before contacting DVLA.

What if you do not receive the identity documents

Unless you contact the DVLA within three months of the date you sent your application, DVLA will not be able to carry out the necessary follow up investigation both at the DVLA local office and with Royal Mail. They will not be liable to any claim after the three month period.

Further advice and information

For further advice and information about registering a vehicle, you should contact your nearest DVLA local office.

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