After acquiring age verification, MOT and  insurance, the actual registration process is comparatively easy.  Note that you will need to present DVLA with original documentation. You will also need identification (passport or driving licence) and verification of your current address (such as recent utility bill or bank statement) and a completed form V55/5  (to register a used vehicle for the first time  - downloadable, but the packs available from DVLA contain other useful advice) assuming that it has not been previously registered in UK for civilian use, or has been imported. The charge for first time registration is £55. You will also need to buy a tax disc at that same time, at the current rate. If the vehicle was imported, you will also need its receipt, showing any tax paid, and will be asked to complete a declaration which DVLA will forward to HM Customs and Excises.  If you did not pay the European equivalent of VAT, and have not since paid VAT in UK, then you will receive an invoice for it from HM Customs at a later date, if applicable. If the vehicle is being registered on a "Q" plate you will also need the SVA certificate.

If your vehicle was previously registered for UK civilian use, and that registration no longer exists because the vehicle was not taxed for some years, you may still be entitiled to use its original registration number. You must prove entitlement to it - and the fact that you have a number plate screwed firmly to the back of your vehicle under several layers of lead paint will not, unfortunately, be sufficient proof. Even if that number is presently unused and is so uncollectable that nobody else would possibly ever want to use it, you will have to find official proof that the car was once registered under that number. It could be that you have old tax discs - but the handwritten registration number on these has usually faded - or even the registration document (usually long since lost!).

If the registration was done comparatively recently then it could be that DVLA has the proof in its own office. However, most offices have now discarded old (pre 1983) registration records. If this is the case then you might still be able to gain entitlement, if you can discover where the vehicle was first registered. It is possible that your local city council or museum will be able to tell you this - the letters within the registration mark denoted the area of registration. They will probably also be able to tell you what happened to the registration records from that area, as it appears that DVLA sent most records to the city council concerned. It could be that they were destroyed, in which case you are out of luck, or it could be that they went into the archives of a locally held collection of historic papers and records, in which case you will be able to acquire a certified copy from them to present to DVLA. Our own experience is that most records were kept, and that the clerks in charge of archives are very helpful people, so do persevere with a search! You will not need to pay the £55 fee for first registration when reclaiming entitlement. DVLA may inspect your vehicle to confirm that it is indeed the one that originally held the number you are claiming. You will need form number V765 from a DVLA office, or download from HERE.

By taking the completed forms and documentation to a DVLA office you will save some time, and the whole lot will be checked through by their officials whilst you wait. If you do not wish to use your vehicle on the road for a while, you must still buy tax and hold full insurance for the vehicle. Once registered, you may cancel the insurance after declaring it SORN, sending up your tax disc with the SORN form to reclaim any whole months left on the disc.

Provided that DVLA do not need to inspect your vehicle to verify the date and type, you will receive your V5, tax disc and entitlement to use a registration "mark", or number, fairly quickly - usually within days. You will need the registration entitlement letter to buy number plates.

Don't forget in your excitement that you must inform the insurance company of the registration number immediately. You may only keep it insured on the engine/chassis number for a maximum of 30 days as a rule. At this point  you will probably realise that you have nowhere to secure the tax disc or anchor the number plates....  :-)

Now all that's left is to enjoy your first road-ride, and accept the looks of admiration and wonder from onlookers with pride!

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