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Understanding the DVLA's new online V5C logbook

By raccars Published

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Do you understand what to do with your V5C or logbook when buying or selling a car?

The last couple of years have seen a number of changes to the way in which the DVLA handles its administration, all in the name of efficiency and cost saving. The main thing car owners will have noticed is the abolition of the old paper tax discs and the paper counterpart to UK driving licences. The V5C registration document, also known as the logbook, is still in use in its current form but the DVLA has implemented some changes to the way in which the registration system works, notably the introduction of online processes for changing the details of a registered keeper.

What the seller does with their V5C

When you sell your car to a private buyer or a dealer, you can now go online to handle the change of registration, which is designed to be easier and quicker than dealing with paperwork and, of course, cheaper for the DVLA, which should also result in savings for the tax payer.

You must still fill in the section labelled V5C/2 or section 10: 'New keeper's details' on their logbook, then sign and give it to the new keeper. You then report the change of registered owner online. You will need the old V5C as it contains an 11 digit reference number which the system requires. And you will no longer be required to send the remainder of the V5C by to the DVLA. The change of ownership will be confirmed instantly by email and followed up with a letter describing the change of owner details.

Having completed this process, the DVLA will refund any remaining full months of VED automatically, because road tax is now non-transferable upon a change of ownership.

What the buyer has to do

If you are buying a car, check whether the owner intends to change the keeper details online because they will need your email address. You will then receive an email confirming that the DVLA has received a notification of a change of ownership. Either way, your new V5C registration document should arrive in the mail within a week. You will be obliged to buy road tax or VED for your new car straight away or declare a SORN for the car, as you no longer take ownership of any outstanding road tax with the car.

Bear in mind that the online change of owner notification service is only available from Monday to Saturday, between the hours of eight AM to six PM. You can still complete the whole process by mail as previously if you don't have access to a computer, but it's slower and more cumbersome.

What to do with the old V5C

While the V5C document will still be provided in paper format, the DVLA advises sellers to destroy their old V5Cs after handing over the V5C/2 section to the new owner and completing the online declaration of a change of ownership.

Replacing a V5C which has been lost or damaged

You can replace lost or damaged V5C documents by obtaining form V62 online or from the Post Office and posting it to the DVLA with the £25 fee. The new V5C will take about six weeks to arrive, so don't hang around if you have lost yours and are planning to sell your car.

Changing your details on a V5C

At the moment any changes to your name or address must still be sent to the DVLA by completing section six on the V5C and sending it through the post. If you fail to notify the DVLA of any changes to your personal details you could be fined up to £1,000 and will not receive your V11 tax renewal notification.

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