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Change of name and address on your registration certificate

Vehicle registration certificates are legal documents that provide proof of ownership of a vehicle in the UK. In the European Economic Area, which includes the UK, the rest of the EU, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway, the contents of a vehicle registration document is governed by European Directive 1999/37/EC.

According to EU Directive 1999/37/EC, vehicle registration documents must contain:

  • Vehicle registration number
  • Personal data of the individual who owns the vehicle
  • Vehicle identification number
  • Engine specification
  • Exhaust emissions

Vehicle registration in the UK

In the UK the vehicle registration document is called the V5C. This was formerly referred to as the log book, and this term is widely used today. The V5C is issued by the Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

In 2011/12 the DVLA rolled out a new ‘red’ form, which has been designed to replace the older blue forms. It is widely reported that the change of colour was designed to overcome the theft of over two million of the older blue forms that took place in 2008.

How do I change my name and address on my vehicle registration certificate?

If you wish to change the name or address on a V5C then you need to complete the relevant section on the form and return it to DVLA. This will require you to provide your new name or address, signing and dating the V5C in section 8.

Your new V5C is usually dispatched within four weeks, and there is no charge for updating your personal details. Although the typical turnaround is four weeks, the DVLA ask for owners to wait at least six weeks before contacting them to chase the certificate.

What if I want to buy a personalised number plate for my vehicle?

Personalised plates are available for vehicles registered in the UK. The personalised plate industry is big business, offering those who can afford it the chance to drive their vehicle with a distinctive number plate.

Personalised plates are available through DVLA auctions, or directly from the existing owners.

If you buy a personalised plate then you will need to provide DVLA with a V750 certificate of entitlement and provide that with a V778 retention document. You will also need to supply the V5C for the vehicle and an MOT test certificate for cars and motorcycles over three years old.

There are certain rules that apply to the registration of personalised plates, including that you cannot put a personalised plate on a vehicle in order to make it look newer than it is.

Once you have applied the DVLA may request to inspect the vehicle, but otherwise you should have your application approved within two weeks. 

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