How to replace missing car documents

It can be easy to misplace paperwork, but when it comes to paperwork for your car, it is very important to keep it in a safe place. Documents you’ll want to keep stored away include your diving licence, your MOT documents, your log book, and any other important paperwork to do with your vehicle.


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What to do if you lose your paperwork


Losing vital documentation can be a worry, especially if you want to sell your car, but it’s nothing to panic over. As long as you know who can provide the duplicates, they will have them sent out in a matter of weeks. Follow our guide to learn how to replace the important paperwork for your car.


Driving licence


A driving licence, whether it’s the paper copy or hard copy, can be replaced via the DVLA. Get in touch and apply for a duplicate. If none of your details have changed and your licence doesn’t expire within the next 56 days, you can apply by phone on 0300 790 6801.

You can also apply via email on the site, or apply the more traditional way by post. Fill out the necessary form dependant on your vehicle and send to:

Drivers Customer Services
Correspondence Team

Either way, all modes will cost a fee of £20 and will take approximately 3 weeks for the document to arrive.




It is still legal to drive if you’ve lost your MOT certificate, as long as it is in date and a replacement has been applied for. If any troubles arise during the process, a digital copy can be viewed via the VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency), the service that oversees MOT testing. But, how do you get a replacement MOT certificate? This can be done from any DVA Test Centre by completing an application form. Alternatively, they can be contacted by their telephone booking line at 0345 247 2471.

It will cost up to £10 and all they need to see is the vehicle registration certificate (V5C), also known as the log book, to start the process.

Read more: Check your MOT status


Log book


The log book, also known as a V5C, provides all the information about the car, including its history, past and present owner and when it was manufactured. This is a vital document when it comes to selling the car. If you've lost your log book, you can request a replacement through the DVLA and whichever method you use it will often cost £25.

Looking to sell your car without this document? See our guide on how to sell your car without a V5C document.

Get in touch by phone on 0844 453 0118. It can also be done via post, but a V62 form will need to be downloaded, filled out and sent to the following address:

SA99 1DD


Car insurance


A missing insurance certificate can be retrieved from the insurer. Some companies may charge a fee for this up to £30, so make sure you’re aware of this before you request a replacement.

Receiving a duplicate car insurance document can be done similarly to the other documents via, the phone one post, but contact your insurer to find out their procedures.


Why do you need the paperwork?

Paperwork for your car is needed for a number of things, and without it, you could cause some tricky issues. Below are two of the key situations where documentation will be required:

  • Replace lost keys

    Losing car keys can be a nightmare, but it happens. They can be replaced by having the spare key cut or have the manufacturer send you a brand-new key. However, in both scenarios, the car’s paperwork is needed. This is again to prove you own the car; nobody wants to provide a set of keys to someone who has potentially stolen the car. Replacing any documents for your car should be simple and hassle-free providing you have all the relevant information, but they must be done as soon as possible.

  • Selling your car

    When it’s time to upgrade and move on to a new car, the paperwork is an essential to sell your car. Not just to prove that you own the vehicle, but also to pass on to its new owners.


When should you update your vehicle registration certificate?

vehicle documents

Since your vehicle’s V5C is very important, it is also crucial that it is kept up to date. If any of your personal details should change, for example, if you change address or your marital status, or if there are any alterations to your car, then the DVLA should be informed. The log book should be returned to DVLA so they can update your details and issue a new registration certificate.


Frequently asked questions


To tax your car (or any other vehicle), you’ll need a reference number from one of the following documents: a recent reminder (V11) or ‘last chance’ warning letter from DVLA, your vehicle logbook (V5C) registered in your name, or the green ‘new keeper’ slip from the car logbook if you’ve just bought it.

If you do not have any of the above, the best thing to do is apply for a new V5C. You can get a duplicate logbook online if you don’t need to change any information in it. However, if any of the reasons below apply, you will need to download and fill in a log book application (form V62) and send it to the DVLA with a cheque or postal order for £25.

  • your name or address have changed
  • the vehicle details have changed
  • you’ve bought, sold, or transferred a vehicle
  • you did not get a logbook with your new vehicle

If you decide it’s time to scrap your car, make sure you have the following documents ready:

The car logbook is the most important document you need to scrap your car, as it proves you own the vehicle and therefore prevents unauthorised sales. Make sure you retain the yellow slip – known as the V5C/3 – from your log book. You will exchange this document for a CoD at your chosen Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF).

ATFs (vehicle scrapyards) are the only places authorised to issue a Certificate of Destruction (CoD). A CoD is a DVLA-approved certificate that confirms you’ve recycled your car at an ATF. The document also absolves you of any future responsibility for the car and instructs the DVLA to issue a refund for any unused road tax.

Along with your V5C, you’ll need the following documents to part exchange your car: a valid MOT certificate, your car purchase receipt, the original owner’s manual.


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