Vehicle registration certificate

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1917 United States registration certificate

A vehicle registration certificate is an official document providing proof of registration of a motor vehicle. It is used primarily by governments as a means of ensuring that all road vehicles are on the national vehicle register, but is also used as a form of law enforcement and to facilitate change of ownership when buying and selling a vehicle.

European Union and European Economic Area[edit]

In the European Economic Area (EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), vehicle registration certificates are governed by the European directive 1999/37/EC.[1] The information contained in these registration certificates includes:

United Kingdom[edit]

In the UK the document (V5C) was previously referred to as the log book,[2] and this is still common usage. The document is issued by the DVLA and tracks the registered keeper of the vehicle, rather than the owner. Despite this, the document is commonly treated as proof of ownership. When a vehicle is transferred, exported, scrapped or had major modification (new engine, chassis or factors affecting the taxation class) the form is returned to the DVLA, who issue a new document, if appropriate, with the amended details.

2001 redesign[edit]

A new design was issued in 2001 to comply with EC directive 2001/127/EC, not as a result of a theft of blank forms in the same year.[3]

Red forms[edit]

In 2011/2012 a program was launched to replace the previous blue forms were with new red forms as a result of "theft of a number of blank V5Cs".[4] The theft may have been of several hundred thousand forms in 2007/8,[5] or the loss of over two million forms reported in 2008.[6] Both or either incidents may relate to blank forms returned to a supplier in 2006 for overprinting which were eventually sent to be destroyed.[7]

The police (AVCIS) launched "Operation Drift" to recover stolen forms, over a thousand being recovered.[8] The relevant serial numbers of the illegal VC5s are either (according to the police):

  • BG 8407501 – BG 8431000
  • BG 9167501 – BG 9214000
  • BG 9282001 – BG 9305000
  • BI 2305501 – BI 2800000[8]

Or, according to the DVLA reported in Parker's:

  • BG 8229501 - BG 9999030
  • BI 2305501 - BI 2800000 [6]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ European Directive 1999/37/EC - Europa
  2. ^
  3. ^ Paul Jeffreys. "Freedom of information response". 
  4. ^ Your new, red Vehicle Registration Certificate (V5C). DVLA. 2011. INS215 7/11. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  5. ^ "Fake number plates, fake Vin plates and fake V5Cs". The Consumers Association. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "DVLA in stolen documents scandal". 19 August 2008. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  7. ^ "DVLA Annual Report and Accounts 2010-11: Specific Control Issues". 
  8. ^ a b Operation Drift (1). January–March 2009. Retrieved 16 December 2011.