DVLA Launches New Vehicle Registration Document (V5C)

The DVLA is launching a new version of the V5C vehicle registration document with a red front page (known as the logbook), starting from Sunday 15th August 2010. The change is primarily being made because a huge number of blank, unissued V5C documents were stolen in 2006. Criminals have been using these to give stolen cars new identities, making it harder for second-hand car buyers to recognise ‘dodgy motors’.

The new document also contains a clear reminder that the V5C document is not proof of ownership. The V5C document records the name and address of the registered keeper of the vehicle not necessarily the owner. It’s important to understand the difference. Proof of ownership can be proven by an original purchase receipt.

The new format V5C can be easily recognised by its red front page. The inside pages of the document are largely unchanged. You can see images of the new document on the DVLA’s website by clicking here.

All new cars registered from 1st September 2010 will have the new format documents and all V5Cs issued for cars that are already registered (when you change address, for instance) will also be in the new format.

If you have a V5c in the current format, you don’t need to do anything. The DVLA will only be issuing new-format V5C documents for newly-registered cars and to people who need to update their vehicle’s registered details.

Car Registration Document (V5C) Tips:

  1. Never, ever buy a car without a valid, accurate V5C – check the seller’s name and address and the car’s VIN number and registration number against the document.
  2. Always check the serial number of the V5C when you buy a used car. If the serial number on the V5C is in the range BG8229501 to BG9999030 or BI2305501 to BI2800000 then the document (and probably the car) is stolen – don’t buy the car and notify the police.
  3. Valid V5Cs (new and old designs) have a ‘DVL’ watermark on the front page – hold it up to the light and you should be able to see this.
  4. If any part of the V5C looks like it has been tampered with or is missing, don’t buy the car. There is no valid reason for making changes to a V5C document – whenever changes are required, the DVLA issue the registered keeper with a new, updated copy of the document.

For more useful advice on buying a used car, check out our Simple Car Buying Guide.

2 thoughts on “DVLA Launches New Vehicle Registration Document (V5C)

  • February 26, 2014 at 10:51 am

    I sent my log book together with a VOS certificate ten days ago.for an exchange as I had baught back my car as it had been writen off after i had an acident in it – please can you find it and send me a new log book

    • February 26, 2014 at 10:59 am


      SimpleMotoring.co.uk (this website) isn’t connected with the DVLA, this is just a news article.

      You will need to contact the DVLA directly with any queries you have about your car’s log book – you can find contact details on this page: https://www.gov.uk/contact-the-dvla

      Hope this helps.



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