February 05, 2019 at 4:00 PM
A V5C, also known as the log book, is one of the most important parts of car ownership. It’s a paper document that registers a vehicle with the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) and shows who the registered keeper of that vehicle is. Being the registered keeper makes you responsible for registering and taxing the vehicle.
The name on the V5C doesn’t necessarily mean they are the owner of the vehicle. For example, when you lease a car, you will be the registered keeper, but the owner will be the leasing company.
WHAT DOES THE V5C INCLUDE?
The log book itself is a four-page document that includes the following information:
- Date of first registration
- Current registered keeper details (including name and address)
- The previous registered keeper details
- Tax status
- Vehicle details: make, model, colour, engine size and chassis number
- Vehicle emissions
As well as providing information on the vehicle itself, the V5C is split into sections that perform specific functions for when the car is sold, scrapped or exported.
HOW DO YOU CHANGE YOUR DETAILS USING THE V5C?
It’s a legal requirement for your vehicle’s V5C to have your current name and address. Therefore, you must notify the DVLA if you change your name or move home; you also need to let them know if you make certain modifications to your car. Failing to inform the DVLA could result in a fine up to £1,000.
CHANGE YOUR ADDRESS USING THE V5C
Write your new address in Section 6 of the V5C, leaving the ‘new keeper’ box unticked. Send the whole log book in the post to the DVLA (the address is on the V5C) and don’t forget to also update your driving license and road tax Direct Debit details (if applicable).
All communications from the DVLA, such as car tax reminders and vehicle recall notices will be sent to the address on the log book. Any speeding fines and other conviction notices accumulated in the vehicle will also be served to that address, so if it isn’t up-to-date, you could miss important notifications. In addition, having an incorrect registered address invalidates your car insurance.
CHANGE YOUR NAME USING THE V5C
Write your new name in Section 6 of the V5C, leaving the ‘new keeper’ box unticked, along with a note on a separate piece of paper to say you’ve changed your name. Send the whole log book in the post to the DVLA.
If the registered keeper is a business, you need to include proof of its name change – a certificate of incorporation from Companies House, for example.
When you change your name and address at the same time (and the name change isn’t a result of marriage or divorce), you must include proof that your name has changed.
USING THE V5C WHEN YOUR VEHICLE HAS BEEN WRITTEN-OFF OR SCRAPPED
If your car is written-off after an accident, or you decide to scrap it rather than sell it, you can inform the DVLA online or use the paper V5C. If you fail to tell the DVLA, you could face a fine of £1,000.
The online form is available from 7am to 7pm and can be accessed at www.gov.uk/written-off-vehicle. You will be asked to enter:
- Your insurance company’s name and postcode in the ‘provide trader details’ section
- Your vehicle registration number
- The 11 digit reference number from Section 9 (V5C/3) of the log book
Alternatively, you can inform the DVLA by filling out Section 9 of the log book. The company taking ownership of your vehicle will need to fill out their details and sign the declaration. There’s also a declaration for you, as the registered keeper to sign. You need to send the completed form to the DVLA in the post.
Whichever method you use, you can expect to receive a letter confirming you’re no longer the registered keeper of the vehicle. If you have any full months of road tax remaining, you’ll receive a refund in the post; however, if you pay by Direct Debit, it will automatically be cancelled.
COMPLETING THE V5C TO SELL A VEHICLE
Whenever you sell a vehicle, you need to inform the DVLA that the owner of the vehicle has changed. You can do this by filling out certain sections of the V5C and sending the entire document to them in the post or use details on the log book to complete the DVLA’s online form.
CHANGE VEHICLE OWNER DETAILS ONLINE
To make this process quicker and easier, the DVLA has developed a form on their website where you can tell them about a change of ownership.
The online form is available from 7am to 7pm and can be accessed at www.gov.uk/sold-bought-vehicle. You will need to answer a few simple questions and then be asked to enter:
- Vehicle registration number
- V5C reference number (this can be found on the front of the log book)
- Whether the vehicle is being sold to a private individual or a business
It’s helpful to take the email address of the person you’re selling the vehicle to so they can receive an email confirmation once you’ve completed the form. You will also be sent an email confirmation (if you input your email address).
It’s recommended that you destroy the rest of the V5C. The new keeper can expect to receive a new log book within five working days.
CHANGE VEHICLE OWNER DETAILS BY FILLING OUT THE V5C
If you don’t have access to the internet, or would rather complete the process manually, you can fill out the relevant sections of the log book by hand to register a change of ownership.
Using block capitals and a black ballpoint pen:
- Complete Section 6 ‘new keeper's details’
- Fill out Section 10 ‘new keeper supplement (also called V5C/2), tear it off, and give it to the buyer
- Sign the declaration in Section 8 and ask the buyer to do the same
Once completed, send the remainder of the V5C to the DVLA in the post. The new keeper can expect to receive a new log book within two to four weeks.
Whichever method you use, you will receive a letter to confirm you’re no longer the registered keeper of the vehicle.
If you have any full months of road tax remaining, you’ll receive a refund in the post; however, if you pay by Direct Debit, it will automatically be cancelled. Due to a change in road tax law, it can no longer be transferred between owners.
WHAT PART OF THE V5C SHOULD YOU RECEIVE AS A BUYER?
Before committing to any vehicle purchase, you should ensure that the seller has the V5C. If they don’t, you should insist they get a replacement or walk away from the deal entirely.
Typically, when you buy from a dealer (like Victoria Motor Company), it will be part of their process to inform the DVLA about the change of ownership. If you’re buying privately, it’s important that the seller changes the vehicle ownership details either online or by filling out the relevant sections of the V5C as outlined above.
As a buyer, the most important thing for you to receive, other than the keys to your new car, is the V5C/2 section of the old log book. This is the ‘new keeper’s details’ section which will temporarily prove your ownership of the vehicle until the new log book arrives in the post, which should take between two to four weeks.
If you don’t receive the new log book within six weeks, you should chase the dealer or seller to confirm they completed the change of ownership process. If the new V5C fails to arrive, you might need to apply for a new one using the V5C/2 section you were given upon sale.
HOW DO YOU REPLACE A V5C?
If your vehicle doesn’t have a V5C, you can download a V62 ‘application for a vehicle registration certificate’ form or pick one up from a Post Office. Complete all the relevant sections on the form and send it to the DVLA along with the V5C/2 (if you have it), otherwise you will be charged £25. You should receive a replacement within six weeks.
Alternatively, if you’re the registered keeper, you can apply for a new log book by calling the DVLA on 0300 790 6802. Obviously, you won’t be able to send the V5C/2 using this method, so it should only be used to replace lost or damaged V5C documents. The turnaround is much quicker with replacement log books taking up to five working days to arrive in the post.