The National Traction Engine Trust

Reprinted from the FBHVC Newsletter No 6, 2010

DVLA by Nigel Harrison

Reconstructed Classic – revised definitions
If there is not the required pre-1983 evidence available to register the vehicle under its original number using the V765 scheme, (or if the original registration number is not known), the fallback position is to apply for an age-related number. The DVLA local office would allocate an age-related number based upon the definition contained in the recently revised information leaflet INF26, which is titled Guidelines on how you can register kit cars and rebuilt or radically altered vehicles. The most relevant revised section is headed Reconstructed Classics: 

‘The reconstructed classic category is intended to support the registration of unregistered classic vehicles. Reconstructed vehicles must comprise of genuine period components all over 25 years old, and of the same specification. The appropriate vehicle enthusiasts club for the marque (make) must confirm in writing that following inspection, they authenticate that the vehicle is a true reflection of that marque and that it meets the above criteria. This written confirmation must support an application to the [DVLA] local office. An age related registration number will be based on the age of the youngest component used.

Reconstructed classics or replica classic vehicles built to original specification using a mixture of new and used components will be issued with a Q registration number. The vehicle must have IVA, SVA or MSVA.’

The major change is that the vehicle must be inspected by the ‘appropriate vehicle enthusiasts club for the marque’. If an age-related number is being applied for, the vehicle will need to comply with the definition above, and the club letter will need to contain the key phrases from the above definition. 

I would also draw your attention to the likely outcome in registering a vehicle which is built to original specification, but using a mixture of new and used components. The full document is available to download at www.direct.gov.uk then search using INF26. 

Failed claims for original registration numbers

During the Federation’s visit to DVLA in October, we visited the section that deals with V765 applications, and saw three examples of failed applications. It might be instructive to outline why those particular applications failed. 

Case 1: a pre-war vehicle with special body. There were photographs of the vehicle and a letter from a specialist club. However, there was no V55/5 (the form to register the vehicle), no V765 (the form to claim the original number) and no evidence to link the registration number to the vehicle, (typically, a certified copy of the original old style logbook). The specialist club should have known better than to allow such a poorly prepared application to be sent. 

Case 2: a pre-war vehicle. There were photographs of the vehicle, ‘evidence’ from the internet, and a long letter from the owner. There was no V55/5, no V765, no pre-1983 evidence in ‘certified copy’ form, and no covering letter from a sponsoring club. This was a ‘full house’ in terms of how not to mount a claim for a particular number. It certainly looked as though the owner had not approached the appropriate specialist club for their advice. 

Case 3: a post-war vehicle. There was a photograph of the vehicle, completed V55/5 and V765 forms, and a certified photocopy of a tax disc. Unfortunately the photocopy of the tax disc was only certified by the club. Certified copies of documentation in the owner’s possession (e.g. old style logbook, tax disc, insurance certificate, plating plate, etc) need to be certified by a DVLA local office, as defined in the V765/3 guidance notes, which every V765 scheme member club has been issued with. Copies of archive documents, e.g. registration registers, would need to be certified by the document owner, which typically would be a local authority. This application almost passed. I would expect that a reapplication with the tax disc certified by a DVLA local office would be successful. 

DVLA are more than happy for the claimed registration number to be reunited with the vehicle, provided the fairly straightforward criteria are met, and there are no other reasons why this registration number can’t be used on that vehicle perhaps because the number has been transferred to another vehicle, or is on retention.

If an owner or a club feels that an application has been unfairly rejected, the Federation can look at the evidence, and possibly make suggestions about what additional information is required. However, if the documentary evidence does not exist, there is no point in resubmitting an application to DVLA. 

Resubmitted Applications

DVLA make archive copies of all the documents supplied with both successful and failed applications, and the original supplied documents are returned to the owner. This means that when a failed application is resubmitted, the new application is compared with the previous one. When a resubmission is prepared, the reasons why

the previous application was rejected needs to be addressed. In 2009 there were around 2800 V765 applications and around 400 of these were rejected. This is all wasted time and effort, both by the owner, the sponsoring club (if there was one) and by DVLA. 

It is perfectly understandable than an owner who has never been involved with a V765 application could be unfamiliar with the actual procedure. However, I would expect that the club signatory should be familiar with these procedures and should be carrying out a vetting service on the quality of the information that is supplied. Club signatories are there to guide the applicants. If the documentary information does not fit the DVLA requirements, (as defined on the V765 form) it is a waste of everybody’s time to submit that application.  

Example. On the initial application a club had forwarded documents to DVLA indicating that a vehicle had a replica chassis. When the owner was notified that this would lead to a Q plate being allocated, the owner requested that the application be withdrawn. A few months later, a slightly revised application was submitted, where the replica chassis was not mentioned, and the club letter was ambiguous. As is standard practice by DVLA, the previous application was looked at, and compared with, the new application. The club was requested to clarify the inconsistencies between the two applications. In this case, the reputation of the club was on the line.

15 Dec 2010