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Registration Matters - Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register my new old machine with the DVLA?

First do you know the registration mark? If you do check it on the DVLA vehicle enquiry web page. https://vehicleenquiry.service.gov.uk/ . If it is recorded then you should download a V62 form fill in, post it off and wait for a new V5C.

If it is shown as vehicle records not found, does it have an old green or buff log book and does the frame number recorded on that match that on the machine. If yes, then you stand a good chance of retaining the registration mark. See our notes on retaining the registration.

If not, then you will have to apply for a new age related plate. Assuming that the machine has not been altered then you will need a vehicle report which the club can provide. See our notes on obtaining a vehicle report.

I cannot find a frame number

All vehicles registered in the UK must have a unique, stamped-in vehicle identification number (VIN) and registration number. The most obvious is that it is obscured by powder coating or paint. Then the number will need to be revealed as the machine may be inspected by the DVLA at registration and in order for us to issue a vehicle report then we will need to see the frame number. Remember to advise the powder coater to keep the frame number visible.

If you still cannot find a frame number then you will have to go through what is known as the reconstructed classic registration route. The DVLA will allocate a new DVLA generated frame number which is 14 characters long. The vehicle will have to be inspected by the Club and by the DVLA. The registration mark will be allocated on the age of the newest major part. If the machine is accepted as a reconstructed classic then it will be issued with an age appropriate registration mark be eligible for historic taxation class but it will NOT qualify for the MoT exemption until it is over 40 years old.
What is not allowed is if the machine has parts from another make of motorcycle. If it is then it will be treated as modified vehicle and probably be issued with a ‘Q’ plate.

What are major components?

They are:-

• the original unmodified frame (motorcycle)

• a new frame of the same specification as the original (motorcycle): Please note: I think this is for where the original manufacturer is still in existence and NOT for one obtained from an autojumble or where the original frame number has been overstamped / removed.

You must also have 2 other major components from the original vehicle from the following lists. Forks: Wheels: engine: gearbox.

Therefore for registration purposes where say a Unit model is concerned and the engine has been replaced, the gearbox will also be replaced, therefore to keep it within the classification is limited and the front forks and wheels have to be from the original machine.

Can I put major components from another make of machine?

For the registration process no, once it is registered, technically yes, however, you may need to discuss the alteration with your insurance company and you may lose your entitlement for MoT exemption.

My bike has been issued with a ‘Q’ plate can I get it re registered with a new age related registration?

First, I need to explain what a ‘Q’ plate is. The DVLA issues ‘Q’ registration numbers to vehicles whose age or identity is in doubt. Now in the past they were issued where there was a lack of dating information when the machine was first registered at the DVLA. Until recently the DVLA refused to look at them again. However they may review the registration and if new evidence has come to light ie a transcript from the despatch record they may issue a new age related registration mark. This needs to be treated with caution. There may have been very good reasons why the machine was allocated a ‘Q’ plate, which you are not aware of. However it may be worth contacting the machine dating officers to see whether it is worth pursuing this. Incidentally once the first registration of the machine reaches 40 years it can be classed as an historic vehicle.

My V5C shows the date of first registration as 1990 but my machine is considerably older than that. What happened in the years in between?

The date of first registration is the date it was put on the DVLA computer. Section 3 of the V5C should give the year of manufacture. The machine would have been registered by the dealer/first owner with the local County or County Borough Council. Many of these county records still exist but they can only be used to retain an existing registration mark if the record shows the frame number of the machine. Very few of these records did. If they do then you may be able to retain the registration.

There is only the make shown on the V5C and not the model. Why is this?

The DVLA use codes for entering in data. The model codes are supplied by the manufacturer and being as BSA closed down well before the DVLA was formed then no model codes are recorded. There is a potential problem with the new Triumphs where the models are called after older models ie Trophy and Bonneville, Thruxton etc. You have to careful that the new codes are not used for the old machines.

The date of manufacture is not recorded or I think that the date is recorded incorrectly.

To get it changed means that you need to supply a transcript from the despatch records or a copy of the relevant page from a Glass’s Motorcycle Check book. That is where there is no date of manufacture shown, getting a date changed is more difficult as the DVLA are reluctant to make changes to the record but it can be achieved.

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