For the VHRA to issue a letter, we firstly need to see a series of photographs of the car in question, which will then be followed up with a physical inspection if we consider it necessary. The photographs must include one of the chassis number, one of the engine number if it has one, one of the engine in place, and photographs from around the car showing the major components to enable us to date the vehicle correctly. Written confirmation of the numbers and specification of the car are also required to make sure everything tallies up. We should point out that cars do need to be roadworthy, though they do not need an MOT to prove this. Letters start at £25 for members, £50 for non-members. If a physical inspection were required, and we were to travel to you, both time and travel costs would be at your expense, and payable in advance.


That then brings you to actually completing the V55/5, which in DVLA speak is the “Application for first vehicle tax and registration of a used motor vehicle”. As this form covers all used vehicles, including six month old grey imports and the like, there are a number of very confusing questions contained within its two pages that have no relevance to antique vehicles. In an endeavour to help streamline things, we have have compiled an easy to understand guide when it comes to registering a vehicle of the age VHRA members prefer. Follow this and you won’t go far wrong. If the box number isn’t in the list below, just leave it blank on the form.


We’ll start from the top left of the form and work our way through the numbers. This will all make a lot more sense with the V55/5 in front of you.


2 - Historic.

3 - 12 months.

4 - £55.

6 - The make of vehicle, eg: Ford, Chevrolet, etc.

7 - The model of vehicle, eg: Model A, Model 40, 3100, Bel Air, etc.

8 - Bodystyle, eg: coupe, sedan, sports, etc.

9 - 2 axle rigid.

10 - The colour of your vehicle.

18 - The number of places there are to sit.

27 - Year of manufacture as noted on the dating letter supplied by the owners club.


When you come back to the top of the page, there are a couple of boxes without numbers. One is the country the vehicle came from, the other is a lhd/rhd selection. Be sure to fill these in.


29 - Date for tax to start, usually the first of the month, either the current month or the following one.

30 - Fuel type, petrol, diesel, etc.

31 - Chassis number, again as confirmed on the dating letter.

32 - Engine number, don’t worry if you don’t have one, it’s not essential. If it’s there it must be included.

33 - Engine size in cc’s. The DVLA do like the figure to be accurate, not rounded up or down.

45 - if the title only shows a year, put it as 01/01/year, otherwise put the date in full.

46 - same date as box 29.


Turn the page…


49 - Name and address.

50 - Date of birth.

51 - Write “Exempt due to age”.

55 - Optional, but it won’t hurt to put the mileage.


Then the declaration at the bottom, which needs to be signed and dated.


The DVLA are currently charging £55 to process an application. When sending in the documentation you will also need to include proof of address and ID as noted on the V55/5. If the car is pre-1960 no MOT is required. If the car is recently imported, you will need to complete a NOVA declaration, which should be done at the time of import. If it has been imported but kicking about for a while, you will need proof of duty paid in the shape of a C&E389 if commercially imported, or a C&E386 for a private import. This needs to be presented to Customs & Excise so they can get the car onto the NOVA system before submitting an application to the DVLA.


For more information on registering a vehicle, go to the DVLA website. www.gov.uk/vehicle-registration

V55/5 forms can be obtained from the DVLA online form  ordering service. https://forms.dft.gov.uk/order-dvla-forms


If you need any assistance from the VHRA with registering a vehicle, email us with the details at www.vhra.co.uk. Before contacting us, remember that cars do need to be roadworthy, constructed from parts all of the same make and of a similar age. If parts from different makes are used, this goes against DVLA regulations and we most likely won’t be able to assist with the registration. Thanks to some rather diligent campaigning by the FBHVC, some replacement bodies are acceptable when applying for a period registration. To meet the DVLA rules, it must be a body that could have been placed on the chassis from the outset, or is of a style which historically has become associated with the marque.