DVLA Crackdown on Classic Car Ages

Do you have to prove your car is a classic?

So…after weeks of classic car owners being in a state of mild panic and worry after the DVLA Crackdown on Classic Car Ages we take a look at the responses and whether you really have to prove the age and identity of your vehicle.

Earlier in the year some classic car owners checked their morning post to find a letter from the DVLA, asking them to confirm the recorded date of manufacture of their vehicle. The DVLA would then assess whether the date of manufacture was indeed correct. If they concluded that the date was incorrect the owner would then be issued with a new vehicle registration certificate, which would involve a new registration number. In some cases an Individual Vehicle Approval may be required along with a Q registration number if appropriate.

As you can imagine this did not go down well.

We’re sure you can empathise with any classic car owner who, after having spent years legally reconstructing, restoring and improving their cherished vehicle to then receive a letter from the DVLA and be told could be deemed unworthy or at worst illegal and banned from the roads.

So why is there suddenly a DVLA crackdown on classic car ages?

With the purpose of becoming more efficient, the DVLA closed its Local Offices and centralised their records, including records of V767 and age related registration applications. To then improve the way records are held, recorded and their overall consistency they began looking into certain records, and whilst doing so found at least in one case, that a registration had been issued based upon information which was not entirely correct.

This then led to the dreaded letters being sent to a number of classic car owners as part of an ongoing investigation by the DVLA.

What do we now know?

Well the DVLA have confirmed that this was a targeted project, looking at specific vehicles which appeared ‘worthy of examination’ and there were no plans to make all owners of Historic-classified vehicles prove their car’s age and identity.

The main problem here seems to be the way the DVLA handled the issue, although they spoke with the FBHVC prior to their investigation they did not inform them of the ‘general approach or the precise terms of the letter’ they sent out. It appears that the ambiguity of the letters, and what the DVLA were doing led to many classic car owners being concerned and slightly alarmed whilst waiting to see whether they too would need to prove the age of their vehicle.

So what next on the DVLA Crackdown on Classic Car Ages?

Overall, it seems as though this isn’t anything to necessarily worry about – right now anyway.

The All Parliamentary Historic Group have provided the FBHVC with a clear statement to assure their members that ‘sending a letter in these terms to anyone except the keepers of vehicles which might have been incorrectly registered would open up a great number of questions about the propriety, the questions it implies and to create an immense problem in DVLA as to how it would deal with the many and varied responses which would be received.’

The FBHVC have also been very clear that they are ‘fundamentally opposed’ to all classic car owners having to prove their vehicle’s identity.

So, after all these dramatic turn of events the DVLA are going to hold a Historic Vehicle Event in Swansea, 23rd September – we’re guessing so that they can try and calm the waters! Representatives from FBHVC member clubs and other association organisations will meet with aim of providing ‘guidance on various matters relating to the registration of historic vehicles’

We’ll keep you updated on any news we hear from that meeting. But remember you don’t need to take any action unless you have received a letter from the DVLA requesting you provide evidence of your vehicles age.