Registering Your Austin Seven - 1

(For notes on getting an A7 authenticated, click here)

Classic Vehicle Registration:

The process for registration is as follows - inspection, photos, documentary proof, dating and completion of V765 and V55/5 are essentials:


1) Car needs to be substantially complete - if it is, don't dismantle it until the registration is completed!

2) The chassis number must correspond with the old style log book and it must be the same vehicle.

3) It is essential that the old style log book is not sent to the DVLA as it’s the only proof - it must be copied and then authenticated by the DVLA approved Club Authenticator.

4) Photos are needed of the front/side and back/side preferably showing original number plates.

5) Also make close-up photos of the chassis number and engine number

6) All photos must be Club stamped, dated and signed by the Club Authenticator

7) A Club Inspection and Dating Form needs to be completed stamped and signed.

8) A V765 needs to be completed by both the applicant and Club Authenticator.

9) The Club Authenticator must complete the V55/5 and ensure it is signed correctly by the applicant.

Phil Whitter

 Dorset Austin 7 Cl

Club DVLA Authenticator

Registering Your Austin Seven - 2

The DVLA require that an application to register a Historic Vehicle is supported by a Club on their V765/1 List of Owners Clubs.  For the past ten years I have been the person registered with the DVLA as the Club authenticator for DA7C, so I thought it might be useful to tell you more about my role and perhaps help you to understand the process better. Registering a Historic Vehicle is not a DIY job and any attempt to do so will fail and every detail you have given to the DVLA will be recorded and compared with any subsequent application and any differences will have to be explained to their satisfaction!  As Club authenticator I keep up to date with the latest requirements of the DVLA from information coming from the Newsletters of the FBHVC (Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs) together with mail received direct from the DVLA.  Generally I can only deal with Austin Sevens within the geographic area covered by our Club.  As the registered signatory for the Club I must adhere strictly to the process required and cannot get involved in any registration which I perceive to be irregular. 

Before looking at the process in detail, you will probably ask how much will it cost?  Each application is considered and personal discretion may be used to help when a situation is outside of the norm, perhaps where we need to encourage a young member or because of personal circumstances. In broad terms if you are a paid up member of DA7C and fairly local then my involvement is free of charge.  Further away a contribution to cover fuel costs will be appreciated. If you are not a member of the Club then it will cost a minimum of 20 (or 40 if a motor trader) plus fuel costs.  This amount will increase if I take the photos. If the application is for an original number and you need to obtain an authenticated copy of local authority archives then they will charge you between 15 and 30.  I have details on how to check if records of your car’s original registration exist.

If you have to apply for an age related registration, the DVLA will charge you 55 to register your vehicle on the V55/5.  I am always happy to give advice to DA7C members who acquire a car that does not have a current registration document.  It is always better to get advice than to contact the DVLA and also before you pull the vehicle apart or change its appearance. 

Process Detail
An application to register an Austin Seven usually falls into one of two categories: 

1) Original Number Claim: If acceptable documentary evidence exists linking your car with a registration number then an application can be made to retain that number on a non-transferable basis.  If you acquire a car with a number plate and no documentary evidence exists to link that car with the plate you will not be able to retain the registration. 

2) Age Related RegistrationIf no documentary evidence exists, then you will be applying to register the vehicle with an “age related” registration allocated by the DVLA.  Due to a shortage of such numbers there is no guarantee that the DVLA will allocate you a number which relates to the age of your car and in fact you might be given a sixties number for a pre war car! 

Claiming Original Registration Number
You will need documentary evidence to link the registration to your car i.e.  

*  Original old style log book

*  Certified archive or library record linking the registration to your chassis number

 The car needs to be substantially complete and can be unrestored. You will need a 45 degree front/side photo and the same back/side preferably showing the number plates if you have them.  You will also need a close up photo of the chassis number on the chassis and engine number.  Further to this you will want a photocopy of the documentary evidence you are providing.  I need to visit and inspect the vehicle and I will provide you with the latest version of the V765 ( Application to register a vehicle under its original number) and a V55/5 ( Application to register a used motor vehicle ) 

When I visit, I will inspect the car and confirm that the chassis number is genuine and as shown in the documentary evidence and photos and that it has enough main item running gear to be substantially the correct car for which the application is being made.  Using the Austin Motor Co. tables in the back of Wyatt’s “Book of The Austin Seven” I will check the date of manufacture against the chassis number and using other lists ensure that the registration claimed was issued at that time.  Having completed the Club Inspection and Dating Form we will then work together to complete the V765 and the V55/5.  Using the registered Club Stamp I will date, sign and authenticate where necessary the following:  

*  Photos of the car and chassis and engine numbers
*  Dating source detail
*  Copies of any linking documentation (do not send any original documentary evidence to the DVLA as it can get lost)
*  V765 section 5 

Finally all the documentation will be sent in an A4 envelope to the correct postcode for the department concerned obtaining proof of posting. 

Age Related Application
If no documentation exists linking your car to a registration plate then it is necessary to apply for an age related registration. There are some major differences in the process as follows: 

*  The vehicle needs to be roadworthy
*  The vehicle needs to be insured on its chassis number.
*  A V112 Exemption from MOT  needs to be completed
*  There is a DVLA charge of 55 associated with the V55/5
* No V765 will be completed.
The car will still need photos, inspection and dating. 

Conclusion and Disclaimer
Having read this article I think you will agree with the FBHVC that registering a Historic Vehicle is definitely not a DIY job!  The above article was written for the members of Dorset Austin Seven Club and so I would ask it is not reproduced by other Clubs as it may not reflect the process used by their authenticator.  There are other variations of process to  cover unusual circumstances and it is not practical to cover all of these within this article and I am unable to enter into correspondence about any of the content of this article.

Phil Whitter    DVLA registered authenticator for DA7C


Originality of Bodies

As you are all aware we (FBHVC) have had a great concern, shared not just by individual applicants for V765 and age related registrations, but also by a number of people who have over many years traded in the production of representative bodies for some vehicles, where a vehicle was clearly identifiable from its chassis but the existing body was not worthy of restoration, that DVLA would not consider itself able to permit the granting of a registration to such a vehicle, no matter how good the restoration. We have as you know debated the matter extensively with DVLA, and we know that concerns were being expressed that the Federation was making no useful progress on the matter. But these things take time and this is where we now are.

We have reached an understanding with DVLA on how the treatment of replacement bodies on chassis will be dealt with through their different schemes. DVLA accept that original bodies may properly be replaced, not least because bodies deteriorate and may need replacing over time.

For vehicles applying under the V765 Scheme for the recovery of an original registration number, the applicant or supporting club should set out clearly the nature of the replacement body fitted, especially if the style is different to that quoted on a supporting original log book, which of course must always be supplied if available, as it is DVLA’s preferred primary evidence of the identity of the vehicle. The application should demonstrate that the replacement body is one that could have been placed on it from the outset or is of a style which historically has become associated with the marque.

A supporting club should also provide similar information for applications for an age related registration number, supported by dating evidence/certificate. If this is done, DVLA should normally give favourable consideration to the application.

It follows from this that vehicles which, by reason of the completeness of their original rolling chassis components, appear entitled to apply for an age related plate should not be submitted as reconstructed classics.

The reconstructed classic category is confined to vehicles created from a collection of parts which did not originally belong to one vehicle. Reconstructed classics will continue to be subject to strict rules in which the body cannot be new but must be contemporary with the other components which have been used to create the vehicle.

 We will be continuing to liaise regularly with DVLA on this matter and if any applicant considers that an application, whether for a re-registration under V765 or a dating certificate supported registration, has been rejected, despite appearing to the applicant to comply with these rules, then they should approach us and we should be able either to explain the situation or discuss it with DVLA.

 It must be recognised that all these applications are based on evidence provided and information already held at DVLA. A rejection certainly does not imply a lack of care by DVLA and it will sometimes be the case that an application might need to be subject to careful review or further information.

 The FBHVC will be working with DVLA to develop a valid glossary of terms used to identify bodies which we will share with you when available

Accurate V5Cs and the Vehicle Enquiry Service (VES)

DVLA have decided, probably for reasons unconnected with our concerns, that from the end of March the Vehicle Enquiry Service (VES) will require entry of only the registration to enable a search. This will mean that the ongoing issue of erroneous Makes in the DVLA database will become irrelevant.

However, the Federation has been complaining, long before the introduction of the VES, and largely for reasons of historical accuracy in the DVLA database, about the software issue which, where the vehicle has no manufacturers’ code, can cause an incorrect ‘Make’ to be entered into Box 1, and does make the entry of ‘Model’ into Box 2 impossible. The current system simply does not permit manual entry into Box D2.

DVLA had told us they were re-platforming the database and they would give serious consideration to including an ability for the desk officer to make a manual entry into Box D2 corresponding to the relevant entry in the submitted Form V/55/5.  

The FBHVC recommend that those making new applications for registrations, particularly in respect of older overseas vehicles, which are likely not to have relevant codes, to not complete the Model portion of the V55/5 though, if you choose to do this, you explain in writing with the form why you have done so, to avoid the application simply being rejected for incompleteness.