Lost Your Car Log Book? Here's What to Do
A man looking confused

Owning and operating a car comes with a lot of responsibility, so if you’ve lost your V5 certificate, more commonly known as a car log book, it can be very easy to panic and wonder what to do.

If you have lost your vehicle log book, then you’ll be pleased to know that you can easily obtain a new log book or apply for a replacement online.

In our guide below, we explain why a log book is so important, what to do if you’ve lost your log book for your car, how to get an urgent V5 replacement and how to apply for a DVLA log book change.

What is a car or van log book?

In the simplest terms, a car log book provides proof of ownership of the car or van. It includes details of the registration of the vehicle, as well as the taxation history and it shows who owns the vehicle at any given time. It’s a legal requirement by the DVLA to have a car log book, so if your log book has been destroyed, stolen or damaged, it’s imperative that you get a new one.

I’ve lost my log book - What do I do?

If you’ve lost your car log book, you will need to obtain a new one as soon as possible to ensure that you don’t get into any trouble with the DVLA. Below, we include details on how to get a replacement log book.

How to get a replacement log book

You can get a replacement log book online, over the phone or by post. 

However, you cannot get a replacement log book online if you need to change any of the details in the log book or if you do not currently have the vehicle in your possession. 

If you simply just need to order a replacement log book, then it should be easy enough to apply for one online and you’ll need to provide details such as the registration number of the vehicle, the VIN/chassis number of your vehicle and the name and postcode that is registered on your log book.

Is there a fee for a replacement log book?

Getting a replacement log book will cost £25 and you can pay online or over the phone with a debit or credit card. While you will need to pay to get a replacement V5 certificate, you don’t need to pay to update or change any of your details if you’ve already received your new log book as you can do this for free online.  

How long does it take to get a new, replacement log book?

The time it takes to get a replacement log book will vary depending on different circumstances, but you can usually expect it to take around one week to arrive if you apply over the phone or online and anywhere between two to six weeks if you apply via the postal service.

Can I tax my car without a log book?

It is possible to tax your car without a log book but you will still need the green new keeper slip if you got your original log book without sending this slip off.

However, if you don’t have this, you will need to apply for a new V5 certificate and tax your car at the same time. You can do this at your local Post Office, but it’s also possible to tax your vehicle online if you have the 11 digit reference number from your lost log book or the 12 digit reference from the new keeper slip. Alternatively, if you have your V11 reminder letter, you can find the relevant taxable information on that.

Can I sell my car without a log book?

While it isn’t exactly illegal to sell your car without a log book, it is highly advised against by the DVLA. Not only will it likely put any potential buyers off buying your vehicle as it means they won’t be able to tax the car straight away and they’ll have to pay for a replacement log book, it can also suggest that the vehicle has been stolen if it doesn’t have a log book as the V5C is proof of ownership of the vehicle and without it, it can look very suspicious. 

If possible, it’s usually best to wait until your replacement log book has arrived before you try to sell the vehicle.

Are there penalties for not having a log book?

There are no strict penalties in place for not having a log book with regards to the DVLA penalising you, but you do run the risk of incurring any penalties that the new owner of the vehicle obtains once they start driving the car. 

This can happen if the details of the log book aren’t changed or updated promptly so if the new owners receive any driving penalties, but the car is still registered to you, the DVLA might think that it was actually you who incurred them.

Also, if any details of the log book change, such as your home address, and you fail to tell the DVLA, you could face a penalty of up to £1,000.

Can I change the details on my log book?

If any of your details change that are relevant to your log book, you must first wait for your replacement one to arrive before you can change them. Once you have received your new log book, you can change or update any details such as your address online for free. 

It’s also important to remember to change the address on your driving licence if you move house as your driving licence must accurately reflect the same driving conditions on your vehicle log book.

If you get married and move house around the same time and you need to change both your name and address on your vehicle log book, then you will have to apply by post to do this.

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