Retention of Registration Marks

Retention of Registration Marks.

To continue with this process you will need documentary proof. If you do not have any, then the application will be refused as the DVLA are extremely unlikely to accept an application. In this situation you are advised to apply for an age related registration mark.

Acceptable documentary evidence are, old green and buff log books, pre1985 bills of sale and/or copies of the original registration records. The original registration records were placed in archives in some, but not all of the former licensing authorities. Generally the larger conurbations destroyed their records. Click here for a List of Existing Authorities or visit the website

The DVLA now have a requirement that any documentary evidence has to show the frame number of the vehicle claiming the registration.

When can I apply?

At any time, but the machine should be substantially complete; authorisation to reregister cannot be given on disassembled machines. The changing of engines to one of a same type or period is generally acceptable but radically altering a vehicle with modern components will not be accepted. Please write in if there is any doubt.

What do I need to do?

Vehicles not registered with the D.V.L.A.

  1. You will need to obtain the following forms from the DVLA helpline 0844 496 0602 or follow the link to
  2. Form V765 and Form V55/5. Please note that the DVLA now request two forms of identity with the V55/5. This is just for new registrations and is not needed for this process. Download the PDF with instructions on how to fill in the V55/5
  3. All applications under this process are now registered as ‘Historic’ taxation class (Question 2 on the V55/5). Unless the retention is for a motorcycle produced by the BSA Company during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s in which case it will be Bicycle.

Complete and send with the following documents:

  1. A clear photographs of both sides of the machine.
    On the back of each photograph should be endorsed with the following:

  2. ‘I certify that this photograph is a true likeness of the machine bearing registration mark (registration)
    Frame number
    Engine number
    Date (when photo was taken)
    Failure to do this will result in the application being returned. Mark on the photos the position of the engine and frame numbers.
  3. The old style log book
    The Club is now authorised to produc copies of the original material. However the DVLA have indicated that any documentary evidence submitted to them will not be accepted if laminated. or
    Other documentary evidence showing a direct link between the frame number and the registration mark.

  4. Rubbings of the engine and frame numbers.
    This is to prevent fraudulent applications. Digital photographs are acceptable with the rubbings.

Vehicles registered under an age related mark you will need form V765 only.

Complete and send with:

  1. Photographs completed as above.
  2. The new style registration document (V5C) bearing the age related number
  3. The old style log book.
    The Club is now authorised to produce copies of the original material. However the DVLA have indicated that any documentary evidence submitted to them will not be accepted if it is laminated. I will need to see the original of the logbook so I can copy it and authorise its use with the DVLA. It will be sent back to you.

    or other documentary evidence to show a direct link between the Frame Number and the registration mark. (See note about acceptable evidence and photocopies above.)
  4. Rubbings of the frame and engine numbers. This is to prevent fraudulent applications digital photographs are acceptable with the rubbings.

What happens then?

The documents will be inspected and a report prepared as to whether an inspection of the vehicle is required. A copy of the Machine Report, including anything arising as a result of the inspection, will be sent to the applicant and the DVLA with our decision.

All applications will be forwarded to the D.V.L.A.

When you receive the V5C you can licence the machine at the Post Office using a form V10 in the normal way. You will need to fill in form V112 ‘Declaration of exemption from MoT’, for those vehicles manufactured before 1st January 1960.

The vehicle will only be subject to Continuous Registration once the first tax disc has been issued.

For those machines licensed under an age related number the current MOT certificates will have to be sent to the D.V.L.A. to be amended.

The new registration document will show that the registration mark as ‘NOT TRANSFERABLE’ to any other vehicle.

These points are important so please read them carefully:

  1. Making a false statement on the application and the photographs can render the applicant liable to prosecution.

  2. The D.V.L.A. always retains the right to refuse an application.The Club can only recommend, not instruct. Reasons for refusal will be given, however further discussion will not be entered into.Extra evidence in support of a case can be presented at no extra cost where an application has been refused on lack of evidence grounds, but the D.V.L.A. retain the right to refuse an application.

  3. The fee is non-returnable. In the event of a refusal, the Club will issue a dating certificate to enable an age related number to be obtained, so be sure that the evidence is sufficient before sending your application.If necessary write first, queries will not be answered on the telephone.

  4. It is not the intention of the Club to inspect all machines; however the Club reserves the right to call for an inspection. If travelling expenses are to be incurred by the Club then you will be advised of the cost before the inspection takes place.

  5. Proof of Club membership is required if the reduced rate is to be applied.

  6. The Club can process other types of vehicles, however it is not our intention to do so, and individual fee rates will apply along with a compulsory inspection of the vehicle. You would be advised to inspect the approved list of Clubs for a more suitable Organisation.

  7. The information relating to the applicant, machine and registration will be held on the Club's computer. It will not be released to any person other than to the members directly involved in the retention and registration process.

What does it cost?

£20 for members of the B.S.A. Owners Club and £25 for non-members.

If a vehicle inspection is required then any extra cost will be agreed in advance with the applicant.

All correspondence and applications initially should be sent to:

Mr. Steve Foden.

B.S.A.O.C. Machine Dating Officer.

PO Box 111,


CH28 9DA

Cheques and Postal Orders should be made payable to B.S.A. Owners Club Library Account.

Alternatively you can pay online - click here for details

Revised 09 -22