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A Certificate of Destruction (COD) is a document that DVLA issues every time a vehicle is recycled as scrap. You can get a Destruction Certificate free of cost; however, you might have to pay for scrapping your vehicle.
The DVLA issues the Certificate of Destruction to an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF). Under the “End-of-Life Vehicle Regulations 2003,” ATFs are the only entities licenced and approved to carry out the dismantlement, depollution, and disposal of scrap vehicles. Every time an ATF finishes recycling a vehicle as scrap, they electronically send the info to the DVLA. This is necessary to let the DVLA know that the car has finally been destroyed, so they can now issue the COD.
Yes, it is a legal requirement that all vehicles an ATF destroys and recycles must have a Certificate of Destruction. However, just because you send your car to an Authroised Treatment Facility, it doesn’t necessarily mean the vehicle will be recycled. The DVLA suggests that the ATF gets to decide what they want to do with the car. A depolluted, dismantled and recycled vehicle with a demolished metal frame will require a COD. In this case, the metal frame is delivered to a metal mill. On the other hand, a car might only be dismantled, and salvageable parts are used. Therefore, if the car is not completely recycled, you do not need a COD for it.
After you sell your vehicle to an ATF, you can either go and collect your Certificate of Destruction or you will receive it in the mail. This depends on the particular ATF you opt for. Generally, it will take seven days for the ATF to issue the COD to the car’s last owner. If there is a delay in receiving your COD, it might mean that the ATF hasn’t gotten around to scrapping your vehicle yet. Some ATFs choose to sell car parts before ultimately recycling what’s left of the vehicle. Alternatively, your ATF might decide to resell the car rather than recycling it. This is where some confusion sets in. Once the ATF sells the car, you are not the last owner anymore, so you do not need to worry if you don’t receive a COD.
However, if you are certain that your car was destroyed and recycled, but you haven’t received the COD after a while, you can take it up with the DVLA. Simply fill section of your car’s V5C marked as “Selling or transferring your vehicle to a motor trader, insurer or dismantler.” If you filled in your V5C’s section before, this step is not necessary. Regardless of which section of the logbook you complete, send it to the DVLA and you should shortly receive a letter from them. The letter will signify that you aren’t responsible for the car anymore. If you do not get this letter within 20 days of sending your V5C, contact us the DVLA.
Once you obtain your Certificate of Destruction, you must keep it with you as proof that you no longer own the vehicle. The certificate will show your name, address, nationality, signature, and details regarding the vehicle, the concerned ATF, and the licencing authority responsible for issuing the ATF’s licence. You must have official proof that you no longer bear the responsibility of the vehicle because you don’t know where the vehicle can eventually end up. You do not want to be blamed for anything that happens with your car after you’ve gotten rid of it.
You need a Destruction Certificate only when you have brought your car to an ATF. Once you deliver your car, the COD becomes a legal requirement. This certificate is the only way to inform the DVLA and assure yourself as well that the vehicle ceases to exist. However, you must remember that the ATF will choose what to do with the car, and if they do not destroy it, you will not need a Certificate of Destruction. Instead, you should have a letter from the DVLA stating that you are no longer responsible for the car.
If you are simply selling your car to someone else, not an ATF, you do not need a COD. The certificate poses as the final paperwork for your car, and it will mark the vehicle as undrivable.
If you do not notify the DVLA upon the destruction of your car, you may receive a fine. You will also be responsible for any penalties carried out in the vehicle, such as traffic offences or even illegal use of your vehicle. That’s why it is your duty to ensure you have a COD notifying the DVLA that you no longer hold legal responsibility for your car.