DVLA and Registration of Vehicles – by Monty Goding


Following the decision to close the DVLA local offices, the Head Office at Swansea has brought in more stringent rules governing the applications for retention of existing registrations and the provision of age-related numbers to those cars where there are no documents available.

It has been known within the Movement that there had been a number of cases where age related numbers had been issued to cars that were primarily constructed from new parts. More importantly the DVLA had established that in some cases this had been done with the full approval of the particular specialist Club.

The repercussions have been felt in a far wider community than those creating Evocations. For those not familiar with this word it is a description of a car constructed to represent a model other than that from which the parts for restoration arose. This usually means one of greater rarity and therefore value which could in the fullness of time be passed off as a genuine example.  It also refers to cars constructed from all new parts with the same object.

Within our Club Margaret has been carrying out work on the application for retention of registration numbers and for age related numbers for a number of years. She has set up very careful procedures with inspection by the Club of all vehicles and by virtue of being in possession of the original factory records she is able to satisfy most of the requirements of DVLA. However, the Club has recently run into some difficulty assisting a minority of our Members requiring age related numbers for cars where they have applied a new body to the rolling chassis which may be of a different design to that originally fitted.  We have been informed by DVLA that they cannot issue age related numbers to these vehicles although we believe this to be a change of policy.

This particular aspect of the DVLA work was considered outside that of the normal work of the Registrar and the Chairman asked me if I would assist. BNMC had asked to attend the conference at DVLA last September and was not invited. Since then DVLA have insisted that they are applying the same rules as before. They have also stated that they will only deal with these issues through the FBHVC.

I have in the past discussed this with the Chairman of the FBHVC and also the President of the VSCC where the building of specials is part of the culture. They had both told me that they had heard apocryphal tales of cars turned down by DVLA but had not seen clear evidence.  I therefore provided a full evidential file, as submitted to DVLA,  to both, of a car that had a full correct rolling chassis for a vintage Morris but with a professionally built two seater body in true vintage style (but not copying a famous car), that we had supported but which had been rejected.
I am grateful to have permission to report the following from the Committee Notes and The President’s Message (Tim Kneller) in the VSCC Newsletter.

VSCC Committee Notes:

The President had also received paperwork from the Chairman of the Bullnose Morris Club (sic) with regards to problems with DVLA registration and had a subsequent conversation where possible solutions were discussed.

VSCC President’s Message from Tim Kneller, who is also a BNMC member and owner:

In late May Dave Salmon (VSCC Chief Executive) and I met with David Whale the Chairman of the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs. David gave a very candid report of recent progress.  He reported that following a lengthy delay after the departure of John Vale the Federation had now made contact with the new incumbent.  The Federation have spent considerable time in going back through past legislation to demonstrate that the DVLA’s position on cars with separate bodies and chassis is not correct.  This has been enhanced by their unearthing of the Ministry of Transport’s Handbook about taxation and registration of vehicles, which clearly states that a change of body on a car with a separate chassis does not constitute a change of identity.  This information has been compiled into a paper , which the Federation has submitted to DVLA, and they are currently awaiting a response.  The Federation have made the All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicle Group aware. … It is Important that the VSCC (and BNMC) continue to support the FBHVC in their endeavours with the DVLA as this has the very best chance of a successful outcome…

I regret that BNMC have heard nothing direct from the FBHVC but I hope you will all find the above very encouraging and most welcome news.

Monty Goding

July 12 2016