Problems with inaccurate registration documents and ‘late conversions’ discussed by DVLA and FBHVC in latest talks
The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs and the DVLA are getting along these days. ‘They do wish to assist in the preservation of our motoring heritage and have no wish to make unnecessary difficulties,’ says FBHVC’s Bob Owen in the Federation’s first 2017 newsletter.
One issue has been a historic vehicle’s details as recorded on the V5C registration document. Sometimes, with imported vehicles or those pre-dating computerised vehicle records, only the ‘make’ field of the V5C has an entry and ‘model’ is left blank, or the make and model are run together in the ‘make’ field. Many have assumed the DVLA was just being hopeless, but the truth is stranger.
A new vehicle has a manufacturer’s code, entry of which by the DVLA automatically ‘populates’ the new V5C. Only the ‘make’ box, termed D1, can be filled in manually if a car has no code; box D2, for ‘model’, cannot because the system architecture doesn’t allow it. DVLA is likely to fix this anomaly when the system is ‘re-platformed’.
It also emerges that some applications to regain the original registration number for a long-dormant, now-restored car have revealed that the number was never actually lost. When records were computerised, owners could submit a ‘notice of interest’ to the DVLA and keep the number live, then activate it – a ‘late conversion’ – when the car was ready to return to the road. A later owner might not know this happened and gets a pleasant surprise. The number remains transferable, unlike a re-issued or age-related one.