Report by Steve Neill
The purpose of the Historic Vehicle Event held at the DVLA on 23rd September 2015 was to re-establish communication between the DVLA and the owners clubs, and the integrity of the systems which, as they admitted, had floundered since the closure of the regional offices and Department of Transport testing stations, where Vehicle Identity Checks used to be carried out. So, it was as much for their benefit and ours.
The seminar was split into three groups centred around the re-registration of restored and reconstructed vehicles, and in particular form V765 - "Application to register a vehicle under its original registration number" and/or verifying the date of manufacture for age related registration numbers.
In order to accurately date a vehicle, concise and accurate information is required, containing the source of the information, either from the manufacturer or club archives, photographic evidence that the vehicle actually existed, chassis plate/engine number rubbings and if possible the log book. If there is an existing record of the vehicle in the DVLA archive, the club and the owner will be contacted and asked to resubmit form V62 - "Application for vehicle registration certificate". If the owner wants to register a vehicle for the first time with an age related index number they must complete Form V55/5. If owners spot any inaccuracies on the V5 it is their responsibility to amend the document and send it to the DVLA and they will issue a new registration document. Likewise the DVLA will contact vehicle keepers if they think that there are any vehicle identity issues. By the way, all applications are checked against stolen vehicle registers held at the DVLA.
The emphasis is now being placed on vehicle owners to approach the DVLA on these matters via one of the recognised clubs, that are on their register, such as the ABVWC, via our contact page. The Association will liaise with its member club representatives, acting as the third party witness. All applications that are assessed by the clubs must be for complete and roadworthy vehicles, implying that actual vehicle inspections must be carried out by the clubs. If this is not possible the DVLA will outsource the inspection to SGS United Kingdom Ltd.
It became apparent that defining Reconstructed Classics and Restored Vehicles isn't as clear cut as the DVLA thought, and the definition of perishable items didn't necessarily include body panels. Prior to this meeting of minds, perishable items were restricted to tyres, bulbs and other service parts, but a strong argument was made that metal panels rust and wood rots – so, as I understand it, this is now under review. I am also urging the DLVA to issue Q plates and their own VIN numbers as a last resort as this has implications on the DVSA MOT emissions test (Q plated vehicles are classed as pre 1st August 1975 and therefore they are only assessed on whether they emit visible smoke). There are also dating implications on seat belt installation and lighting requirements.
According to the rules, which were introduced in 1996, Reconstructed Classics (ie made up from more than one donor vehicle) also require an Individual Vehicle Assessment before they can be reregistered, but it is also recognised that many Historic vehicles would not meet the IVA criteria. Any modifications and upgrades, also fall into this area so it would be advisable to restore a vehicle to “factory” condition, go through the registration process and then carry out the modifications – this should apply to any custom project or competition vehicle in order to retain its age related identity markers.
The DVLA would like to clarify the systems in place and have undertaken to issue flow charts and case studies to illustrate the processes involved as a direct result of this meeting.
The DVLA will consult further on best practise and standardised headed forms for club officials to submit owner applications. The DLVA will report on the outcome of this meeting to clubs in due course.