A Complete Guide to the V5C Logbook (Update 2022)

When buying a used car, you can’t blindly trust the seller or dealer. There is no shortage of used-car scams in buying and selling it. And it is why the importance of a used car V5C registration document plays an important role.

Here is the complete guide to know how a vehicle’s logbook is essential and it’s legal standards.

What V5C logbook holds for you?

Usually, the registered keeper is responsible for the vehicle owner, and they are legal persons liable for insuring and taxing the vehicle. However, the car owner and registered keeper will be the same, but there are situations where it differs.

Then, what information can I get from the logbook?

The registration document tells you about the-

  1. Date of registration
  2. Current registered keeper
  3. Previous registered keeper
  4. Vehicle details include model, vehicle tax class, engine size, colour, VIN/frame number

Registered keepers have to fill the form and inform DVLA if the vehicle undergoes any modifications. Other than this, you need to fill the form if the car is scrapped or permanently exported.

How to analyze if a V5C logbook is original?

Check the Watermark properly

The logbook must have a ‘DVL’ watermark at the top left corner and at different other places on the document. If you have not seen the logbook before, you may not distinguish between original and fake. Check the images below or get in touch with us for assistance if you cannot spot the watermark.

DVLA logbook check

Printing Quality and Paper:

The original V5C logbook is printed on an A3 sheet folded in half to give four printed A4 sides. Unfortunately, conscientious people can make copies of the original document, change the doc, and reprint it to scam people. However, they may not be able to add DVL watermarks (mind it is not “DVLA”) at different places from top to bottom.

We suggest you go for the DVLA logbook check for your peace of mind. It can reveal problems with the car’s documents that could indicate it was stolen or cloned. The V5 check usually comes with many other details such as stolen vehicle check, insurance write-off check, and so on.

Compare VIN and Engine Number with those on V5C:

The vehicle identification number (VIN) or chassis number is printed on a metal strip at the bottom of the windscreen, under the bonnet or underneath the carpet on the driver’s side. As well as the engine number must tally with those on the V5C. Learn more about the VIN and its importance.

Can I seek online help?

Yes, you can have the chance to cross-check the information with the logbook details and the car history reports. It is beneficial when you choose to buy a used car. You can find the details except for owner details which are-

  1. MOT and tax status
  2. Date it was first registered
  3. Colour
  4. Year of manufacture
  5. CO2 emissions

You can easily keep track of the vehicle’s previous owners details from the logbook to avoid later confusion. If you find these details mismatches or any changes, indicate the V5C forgery. However, these details from the online service are sourced from the DVLA. For further detailed checks, you can go for premium methods.

Is there any chance for logbook loans?

It means the logbook is surrendered to a money lender as collateral against a loan. It is possible for someone to be ready with the duplicate document before handing over the logbook to the lender.

You can get the duplicate logbook from the DVLA when your original has been lost. On this basis, the seller tries to sell the car with the duplicate document though they are not permitted to.

Thus, the expert advice is to carry out the logbook loan check to confirm there is no such history behind the sale.

Did you take vehicle identity checks?

If an insurance company writes off the car, then DVLA refuses to issue a replacement V5C till the vehicle undergoes a vehicle identity check.

Hence, when you buy a damaged car, you can’t apply for the V5C until the car is repaired to a legal standard of roadworthiness.

You should be careful with the VIC scrapped vehicle. The person can apply for a replacement V5C without checking its car roadworthiness. Thus, it is better to confirm the vehicle is showing negative signs( written off status).

In short, when the vehicle ownership transfers or write-off, you can get a V5C, and the old one will be void.

How to apply for a vehicle registration document?

The previous owner or dealer has to register as the new owner and get the logbook in post after two weeks. It is not the only reason to apply for the logbook so, know how to apply for it. Includes- if your car has been modified, rebuilt or imported and it changes in the process when it is a classic vehicle.

New or replacement of logbook:

Apply for the V5 through phone or can send the request by post. Either way, you need to pay £25. When your name, address, and vehicle details change, you need to apply for it through the post.

You need to download the form logbook V63 and send it to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1DD.

Intended to change the address:

Then, you need to change the address on the logbook too. If you fail to do so, you should pay a fine of up to £1000. Fill in section 6, submit your new address, and send it to the DVLA address.

What to do when a logbook is lost?

You have the replacement option when you lose or misplace your vehicle logbook. Or when you bought a new vehicle, but you didn’t receive the V5C in your name within four weeks. Then, you can have the replacement option.

How to transfer or change ownership using the logbook?

It is unnecessary for ownership transfer only when you need to sell the car. For instance, parents give the car to their friends, family or divorce settlements.

If you intend to sell or give the vehicle, ensure you are already the vehicle’s registered keeper. Fill the sections 6 and 8 of the V5C. Once it’s done, send them to the DVLA address.

Above mentioned are a few guidelines for your vehicle journey as always expect the unexpected. The logbook is the only proof to tell you are the vehicle owner.