DVLA change of ownership - How to let them know

DVLA change of ownership - How to let them know

Getting a new car is exciting stuff, and even better if you're going to sell your previous car to someone new! But, as anyone who’s sold a car before will tell you, there’s usually quite a lot of admin that comes with it.

One of the most important steps in selling your car is to make sure you’ve logged the change of ownership with the DVLA. It’s against the law not to inform the DVLA, and you can be hit with a fine of up to £1,000 if you don’t - and as it’s a pretty easy process, there’s really no reason not to.

What does changing ownership mean?

Notifying the DVLA about a change in ownership of a car is done so they can update their records about who the car’s registered keeper is. The registered keeper of a car doesn’t necessarily have to be the car’s owner - instead, it’s the person who pays for its insurance and road tax.

For example, if you’ve been given a company car - your company will still own the car, but if you’re driving it and paying for its tax and insurance, you’re the registered keeper. In this situation, the DVLA would need to know that the car is yours.

Changing the ownership of a car can be done online or through post through the DVLA - but it’s worth noting that doing it online means that it tends to take effect immediately, whereas you will usually have to wait a while longer with the post. We’ll be going into more detail of exactly how to let the DVLA know your car has changed owners online and by post, so let’s get into it…

Changing car ownership online with the DVLA

When you change the owner of a car with the DVLA’s online system there are a few things you’ll want to have to hand:

  • The 11-digit reference number from your V5C
  • The name of the car’s new owner
  • The new owner’s contact details

Quick note: Your V5C form is sometimes also known as your logbook or registration certificate. It’s the document that shows how the registered keeper of the car is!

Once you’ve got these the process is pretty simple, just follow these steps to change a car’s ownership online with the DVLA:

  1. Log onto the DVLA and click “Start now”
  2. Fill in the online form that follows
  3. Submit the form
  4. Receive the email confirmation of the change of ownership
  5. Give the new registered keeper the “new keeper slip” (the V5C/2 section inside your logbook) from your logbook
  6. The new keeper will get a notification and receive a new logbook for the car within 5 days

Once this is finished you’re done! You’ll get a refund of any road tax you’ve already paid for the car, and if you pay by direct debit this will also automatically be cancelled.

Changing car ownership by post with the DVLA

If you decide you want to let the DVLA know that the owner of the car has changed by post, it’s still a pretty simple process - it just takes a bit longer. Here are the steps you’ll want to follow:

  1. Fill out Section 6 of your V5C
  2. Fill out the declaration in Section 8 and sign it
  3. Get the new owner to sign the Section 8
  4. Send it to DVLA Swansea SA99 1BN

Once this is done it will take between 7 days and 4 weeks for the new keeper of the car to receive a new logbook.

If you’re selling your car to a garage or dealer

If you haven’t sold your car to another person, but instead you’ve sold it to a garage or dealer, the process of changing the ownership is a little different. You don’t actually need to do anything! The dealer or garage that you sold your car to should tell the DVLA about the change in ownership. They’ll need your permission to do this, but otherwise, it’s out of your hands.

If you still want to change the ownership yourself, you can do this too. You can go to the same DVLA site as above, but you’ll just need to use the 11-digit reference number on the V5C/3 (not the V5C/2). After that, it should all be the same.

This is also the process you would use if your car gets scrapped or written off by your insurance.

Can you change the owner without the V5C?

If you’ve lost your car’s V5C logbook, you are going to need it to be able to change the ownership of your car. You can replace it for £25 by completing the V62 logbook application form and posting it to DVLA Swansea SA99 1BN.

Once you’ve got the replacement logbook you can just follow the same steps as above - it’s just a normal change of ownership.

A few final tips…

It’s against the law not to tell the DVLA when your car has changed ownership, so it’s a good idea to get it done as soon as possible once you’ve made the sale. Also, if you don’t change owners any fines the new owner gets while driving will still be registered to you - that’s not something you want!

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Urban Jungle is not a financial advisor and information in this article should not be taken as advice or recommendation.