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What to do if you’ve lost your V5C log book

You’ve decided to sell your car, but your V5C log book is nowhere to be found. The good news is you can easily order a replacement from the DVLA, and it usually only takes a matter of days.

Here’s why your V5C log book is important and what to do if you lose it.

You’ve decided to sell your car, but your V5C log book is nowhere to be found. The good news is you can easily order a replacement from the DVLA, and it usually only takes a matter of days.

Here’s why your V5C log book is important and what to do if you lose it.

Written by
Rory Reid
Car and technology expert
Last Updated
5 min read
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What is a V5C log book?

A V5C, also known as the log book, is an official registration certificate issued by the DVLA to the registered keeper of a vehicle. You’ll need your log book to insure, sell or scrap your car. You’ll also need it to tax your car and find out which car tax band your vehicle is in.

The V5C document is not proof of ownership. It merely confirms who the registered keeper of the vehicle is and therefore who is responsible for registering and taxing it. It also contains important information about the vehicle including make, model, age, registration number, colour, engine size, CO2 emissions and details of any previous owners.

The V5C is made up of tearaway sections that need to be filled in and sent to the DVLA in different circumstances. For example, if you’re selling your car, you’ll need to fill in the ‘new keeper’ details to let the DVLA know about the new owner.

It’s important to keep your V5C in a safe place. You also need to update the DVLA with any changes to your personal details and certain changes to your car, such as a change in colour, change of fuel type, engine, or cylinder capacity.

What should I do if I’ve lost my V5C log book?

Don’t panic. If you’ve lost your V5C or it’s been stolen, damaged or destroyed, you can order a replacement from the DVLA.

Apply online:

The quickest way to apply for a new V5C is through the DVLA website. The service usually costs £25 and you should receive your new log book within five working days.

To apply online you’ll need to have the following details to hand: 

  • Your vehicle registration number
  • The VIN/chassis number of your car
  • The name and postcode registered in your logbook.

If your personal details or car information has changed since losing your log book, you don’t have the vehicle in your possession, or the vehicle is registered as part of the DVLA fleet scheme, you won’t be able to apply for a replacement online. However, you can still apply by post.

Apply by phone:

If you don’t have access to the internet, you can apply by phone. Call the DVLA on 0300 790 6802, Monday to Friday 8am-7pm and on Saturdays 8am-2pm.

If you need to change your name, address or vehicle details, you’ll need to apply by post instead.

Apply by post:

Download and fill in form V62 on the DVLA website.

Send the completed form with a cheque or postal order for £25 made payable to ‘DVLA Swansea’ to the following address:

SA99 1DD

How long does it take to get a replacement V5C? 

If you apply for your replacement V5C online or over the phone, you should only be waiting up to five working days. If you haven’t received it within two weeks, contact the DVLA.

Bear in mind, if you apply by post the process could take as long as six weeks.

What if I buy a car and there’s no V5C log book?

The DVLA strongly advises against buying a car without a V5C log book. One of the main reasons for this is that the car could have been stolen. You also need to check that the log book has a ‘DVL’ watermark and that its serial number isn’t between:

  • BG8229501 to BG9999030
  • BI2305501 to BI2800000.

If you find a serial number in these ranges, or if there is no serial number, contact the DVLA. This is another sign that the car may have been stolen.

However, if you believe the seller has genuinely lost the log book and you do buy the car, you can apply for a new V5C from the DVLA. You’ll need to download form V62 and send it to the above address, together with the green ‘new keeper’ slip you were given when you bought the car. You won’t be charged for this.

If you don’t have the green ‘new keeper’ slip, you’ll need to pay £25 and explain on the form why you’re making the application.

For more tips, use our handy checklist for buying a used car.

How to change the details on a V5C log book 

If you’ve moved house or changed any other details relevant to the V5C, failing to notify the DVLA of any changes could result in a fine of up to £1,000, so it’s important to keep your details up to date. Here’s how to change details on your V5C log book:

Change your name 

If you’ve recently changed your name, you’ll need to inform the DVLA via post.

To do this, complete section 6 on the V5C with your new name. Send the registration certificate to:

SA99 1BA.

Update your address

If you only need to update your address, you can do it using the DVLA’s online service

It’s available from 7am to 8pm.

Update vehicle details

You’ll need to inform the DVLA if you make any of the following changes to your vehicle:

  • Colour
  • Engine
  • Cylinder capacity
  • Fuel type
  • Chassis or body shell
  • Seating capacity.

To do this, fill in section 1 if you have a new style logbook with multi-coloured numbered blocks on the cover, or section 7 if you have the older style logbook. 

You’ll need to provide evidence if you’ve made changes to the engine number or cylinder. This could be a receipt for a replacement engine, a letter from the manufacture or an inspection report.

The DVLA will also need written confirmation of any changes to fuel type if your existing engine is converted. This should come on headed paper from the garage that carried out the work. 

For changes related to fuel or engine type, post to: 

SA99 1DZ. 

For all other changes, send your V5C to: 

SA99 1BA.

Will I need to get a new V5C if I wrap my car?

Yes, if you’ve vinyl wrapped your car and it changes the colour, you’ll need to update your V5C to reflect this, even though the change is not permanent.

How to tax a car without a log book 

If you’re the car owner and have taxed it before, you may be able to renew your tax and apply for a replacement V5C at the same time.

To do this you’ll need to take a completed V62 application form and a £25 fee to the Post Office. They’ll be able to tell you if you can still go ahead and tax your vehicle without the log book.

However, if you’re the car’s new owner, you can’t tax it without a new keeper slip. To get this, you’ll need to apply for a V5C by post.

It can take up to six weeks for your new V5 to arrive. If you’re unable to tax your vehicle until the replacement V5 arrives, you’ll need to take it off the road and make a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).

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