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Classic vehicle registration

It is completely possible to take a classic car or bike that is on death’s door and build another vehicle of the same spec using new parts. You then take what is essentially a new car and adopt the identification of the rust-heap – or so you’d think!

However, things don’t work that way. In reality many classic cars and bikes slowly have many parts replaced becoming less and less the original vehicle. However, this is a very gradual process. If you were to try and replace the entire car in one go you would come up against a major issue.

The DVLA operate a points system for recognising the originality of the vehicle. For example the chassis is worth 5 points, the front suspension in worth 2 and so on. At the point of inspection, the car would be judged using this points system and only if it reached a minimum number of points will it be deemed authentic.

Restoring a classic's identity

If you happen to be bringing a neglected classic back for the brink of death you may need to find some paperwork to back up its originality. This will let you keep its original identity and registration number. For example, the DVLA may not initially recognise its number plate as early records were help by local authorities and not centrally. During the period of changeover a number of vehicles were off-road and not taxed and so their details became lost.

You will therefore need evidence to show the original identity of the vehicle. Your classic car or motorcycle club may be able to help with this, but so can organisations such as the Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon, who are able to provide Heritage Certificates and Dating Letters.

If you can acquire enough evidence you may be able to reclaim the registration number for your vehicle via the DVLA’s V765 scheme.

Contact the DVLA for more information: Register a vehicle under original registration number (V765)


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