Vehicle registration certificate

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American state-issued registration certificate from 1917

A vehicle registration certificate is an official document providing proof of registration of a 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 name is still common usage. The document is issued by the DVLA and tracks the registered keeper of the vehicle, rather than the owner. 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? (or 2003/127/EC), not as a result of a theft of blank forms in the same year.[3]

Red forms[edit]

In 2011 and 2012, a programme was launched to replace the previous blue forms 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 and 2008,[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 (NVCIS) launched "Operation Drift" to recover stolen forms, over a thousand being recovered.[8] The relevant serial numbers of the illegal V5Cs 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]


  1. ^ European Directive 1999/37/EC - Europa
  2. ^ "Get a vehicle log book (V5C)".
  3. ^ Paul Jeffreys. "Freedom of information response".
  4. ^ "Your new, red Vehicle Registration Certificate (V5C)" (PDF). DVLA. 2011. INS215 7/11. Retrieved 16 December 2011. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  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" (PDF) (1). January–March 2009. Retrieved 16 December 2011. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

External links[edit]