Registering Your Austin Seven

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 20 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. 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 might be free of charge.  Further away a contribution to cover fuel costs will be necessary. If you are not a member of the Club then it will cost a minimum of 50 (or more if a motor trader) plus fuel costs. If the application is for an original number and you need to obtain an authenticated copy of local authority archives then they may charge you between 20 and 40.  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. 

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