Registering an imported vehicle
A vehicle that is permanently imported for use in Great Britain (GB) must be registered and taxed as soon as possible after it arrives in the country. The vehicle should not be used or kept on public roads until the registration and vehicle tax formalities have been completed.
However, if the vehicle needs to have a single vehicle approval (SVA) or MOT test in order to be registered, the vehicle may be driven to and from the pre-arranged test appointment. Thereafter, the vehicle must be kept off the road until the registration formalities have taken place.
Application for registration should be made to your nearest Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) local office. It is not possible to offer an 'over the counter service', registration usually takes between 48 to 72 hours.
Registering the vehicle as new
A 'brand new' vehicle can be driven to GB and registered as 'new' provided the vehicle:
- is registered in GB quickly after collection - this is taken to be 14 days but may be extended to one calendar month at peak periods (eg prior to 1 March and 1 September)
- only have reasonable delivery mileage
- not have been previously permanently registered
UK law requires a vehicle to be UK taxed and registered for road use. To avoid difficulties, importers are advised to transport, rather than drive their vehicles from the port to home or first destination and to keep them off the road until they have been properly licensed and registered.
For most new vehicles you must present evidence of type approval from the supplier or vehicle manufacturer, usually in the form of a certificate of conformity. If the vehicle has not been subject to type approval it must pass a SVA test.
The following documents will need to be submitted to the DVLA local office, photocopies are not acceptable.
- completed application form V55/4 (for new vehicles) or V55/5 (for used vehicles) a £38.00 registration fee (if applicable)
- the required fee for the licence
- a current British certificate of insurance
- foreign registration document and any other papers you have relating to the vehicle
- evidence showing the date the vehicle was collected (normally the invoice from the supplier)
- evidence of type approval
- the appropriate HM Revenue and Customs form
- a current British MOT test certificate (if applicable)
- a declaration of newness (if applicable)
- documentation confirming your name and address (a list of acceptable identity documentation can be found on the link below)
Please make cheques, postal orders payable to DVLA Swansea or Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.
Registration and licensing will not take place unless you have the necessary documentation. In some cases the DVLA local office may wish to see the vehicle to check its identity.
Import information pack
The DVLA provides all the necessary information and forms required to register an imported vehicle in an 'import pack' which is available on DVLA's form ordering service.