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I’ve lost my car log book: What do I do?

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August 24, 2020
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If you’ve lost your V5C certificate, commonly called a car log book, don’t panic. You can get a replacement log book from the DVLA, giving you proof that you are the registered keeper of your vehicle.

How do I get a replacement log book?

There are two ways to get a replacement log book: by phone or by post. You cannot currently apply for a replacement log book online.

If you are the registered keeper of a vehicle and your log book has been lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed, you can apply by phone and get a replacement for £25. You’ll need to contact DVLA Vehicle Enquiries on 0300 790 6802 and pay over the phone. For current information on times this line is answered, visit the DVLA contact page.

Alternatively, you can download a log book application form, known as a V62, and post it to the DVLA with a cheque or postal order for £25 made payable to ‘DVLA, Swansea’. 

What if I bought a vehicle without a log book?

New car key or fob exchanging hands without V5C

When you purchase a vehicle, you should be given a green ‘new keeper’ slip to show that you are the new owner. The previous owner should complete a change of ownership form online or by posting sections of the old V5C to the DVLA, meaning a log book will automatically be sent to you in the post after the purchase is complete.

If you weren’t given a green ‘new keeper’ slip and the vehicle seller did not have the log book details needed to notify the DVLA of the transfer of ownership, you can send off for a new V5C yourself using a V62 form. In this case, you will need to pay the £25 fee usually payable for ordering a replacement.

If you were given the green slip, you can apply by post without paying the fee.

How long does it take to get a replacement V5?

Times vary, but it typically takes around one week to get a replacement V5 if you apply over the phone, and two to six weeks if you apply via the postal service.

Log book not arrived after six weeks? Check the DVLA website to see if there are any known delays and give them a call if it’s unclear why your replacement hasn’t arrived.

Can I tax my car if I have lost the log book?

If you still have your green new keeper slip, because you got your original logbook without sending this off, you can use the details from this to tax your car while you wait for a replacement log book to arrive. 

If you have lost your log book, no longer have your new keeper slip and have not yet filled out an application for a new log book, you will need to apply for a new V5C log book and tax your vehicle at the same time. You can do this at your nearest participating Post Office.

You can tax your vehicle online if you have either the 11 digit reference number from your lost V5C, the 12 digit reference from the new keeper slip or a V11 reminder letter. 

While your vehicle is not taxed, make sure it is declared off-road via a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) as it is illegal to drive an untaxed vehicle. Tax cannot be transferred from the former owner, so if you have just bought the vehicle you must register the car as off road until you are able to tax it.

To find out more about car tax, including exemptions, visit our article on current car tax bands.

Can I trade my car in without a log book?

car key or fob selling car

You can sell or transfer a car privately without a log book, but the DVLA advises against it. Most second-hand car dealers won’t accept a vehicle without a log book, even for part-exchange trade-ins.

If you sell a car and the log book details aren’t updated promptly, you are at risk of receiving any penalties that the new owner incurs after they start driving the car. It’s also likely that you won’t get as good a price for your vehicle as if you simply wait for a replacement log book to arrive and sell once you have this. Potential buyers can be put off by the knowledge that they won’t be able to tax and drive the vehicle right away, and that you won’t have a green ‘new keeper’ slip to give them – meaning they’ll have to pay for a new log book.

Sometimes it may also be assumed that a car being sold with no V5C log book is stolen, because the V5C is proof of ownership. While it is not illegal to trade in a car without a log book, it is strongly advised against, and the DVLA explicitly advises motorists not to buy a vehicle unless it has a V5C.

What if my details have changed?

You will need to wait for your replacement log book to arrive before you can change any of the details on it. You can be fined up to £1,000 if you do not tell the DVLA when your address changes, so it’s important to ensure that you keep your details up to date.

Once you have a replacement log book, you can change the address on it for free online. You must also change the address on your driving licence when you move. If you need to change your name and your address at the same time, you’ll need to apply by post. You can find more information on the DVLA website.

Car insurance from Adrian Flux

Along with keeping your vehicle registration and tax details up to date, it’s important to ensure your car is properly insured for use on the road. Whether you’re insuring a new purchase or looking to get a better deal on insurance for an existing vehicle, we’re here to help. Contact us for a competitive car insurance quote today.

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