If your name changes (for example, when you get married) or you move house, you’ll need to update the name and address details of your car and your vehicle logbook.
This change can be easy to overlook, particularly when moving home or arranging a wedding, but it's vital that your car registration details are kept up to date. Fortunately, the DVLA will issue you with an updated certificate free of charge, but only after you've submitted the change yourself
When you change address, you will need to update the address details on your driving licence within four weeks - this is relatively easy to do and you can continue driving while waiting for your new licence.
You can update your driver's licence online on the DVLA's website, or by posting your physical licence to them directly so that they send you a new one featuring your new address. You’ll also need to complete and send away the ‘changes’ section of the letter that came with your licence (known as letter D741). If you don’t have a copy of this letter, you can order one here.
Send both your driving license and a completed ‘changes’ section of letter D741 to:
Bear in mind, though, that you will also need to change the details on your vehicle logbook – this takes a little more effort, but by following our guide below, you shouldn’t face too many problems.
Vehicle Registration Certificate
As part of the European Directive 1999/37/EC, the UK (along with other members of the European Economic Area) is required to have all vehicles registered to an individual 'owner'.
Note: It is yet to be seen what impact Brexit will have on this, but we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as we find out.
As the owner or “keeper” of a car, you will be issued with an owner’s certificate containing the following information:
- Vehicle registration number
- Name and address of the vehicle owner
- Vehicle ID number
- Engine specification
- Exhaust emissions
Your vehicle registration document is officially called a V5C, but is more commonly referred to as a “vehicle log-book”.
To change the name and address details associated with your car on your logbook, you’ll need to fill in the relevant form (found within your V5C) and send it to the DVLA for processing.
How to change address and name details on V5C
Go to Section 6 in your log book and fill in the relevant name and address fields on the red form. Sign and date Section 8 and then post the whole log-book back to the DVLA at the following address:
Alternatively, if your road tax renewal is due in the next four weeks, you can take your V5C to the Post Office and update your name and/or address details at the same time as taxing your car.
Remember to take a photocopy of your MOT certificate along with you.
Your new V5C form with your updated details will be posted back to you within four weeks. Once it arrives, simply keep it safe within your vehicle logbook ready for any future changes. The DVLA ask you to allow 6 weeks for it to arrive before contacting them to chase it up.
Beware of stolen V5Cs
Previously, V5Cs were blue and were referred to as “blue forms” instead of red. In 2008, more than two million blue forms were stolen from the DVLA.
Subsequently, the DVLA revised and re-issued the forms. They’re now clearer and more user-friendly; they’re also red to distinguish them from the older, potentially stolen, blue forms.
Blue forms may still be in circulation, being used to provide false identities for stolen cars. However, as of September 2012, the last of the legitimate blue forms expired, which means that all legitimate V5C forms should now be red.
You will also need to inform the DVLA of various other changes made to your vehicle, including:
- Fuel type
- Cylinder capacity
- Number of seats
- Body shell
You'll just need to notify the DVLA in the same way as updating your name and address details.
What about personalised number plates?
Personalised number plates (also known as cherished number plates) are available for all vehicles that are registered in the UK – and the business for personalised plates is huge – one plate, reading simply ’25 0’, was sold for £400,000 in 2014.
Not all of them are that expensive, though, and motorists who can afford the costs of private plates get the chance to drive their vehicle(s) with a distinctive, often personal, new number plate.
Personalised registration plates can be purchased directly from the current owner of the plate, or you can buy them via DVLA plate auctions.
When you purchase a new personal number plate, you’ll need to tell the DVLA about it via what is known as a V750 certificate of entitlement and a V778 retention document.
You will also need to provide the vehicles V5C form and, if the vehicle is over three years old, an MOT test certificate.
You should also be aware that there are specific rules and regulations governing personalised plates. For instance, you cannot apply a personalised number plate to a vehicle in a bid to make it look newer than it actually is – make sure you are fully confident that your new personalised plate is legal for driving before splashing out for one.
Once you have applied to the DVLA with all the relevant documents, they may wish to inspect the vehicle before approving your plate. If not, then you should get your personalised plate approved within about two weeks.
Remember: If you have recently purchased a vehicle, you will have to wait until you receive an up-to-date V5C logbook through the post before changing your number plate.
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