Last updated January 22nd, 2024
In this complete guide, we will define a V5C logbook and explain what it is used for. We’ll also clarify the differences between the old and new-style V5C formats. Finally, we’ll list the details covered within a V5C - and explain how to complete each section.
A V5C logbook, also known as a V5, logbook or vehicle registration document registers your vehicle with the DVLA.
The V5C logbook records the registered keeper of the vehicle.
This is the person who registers and taxes the vehicle. Although a car’s registered keeper and its owner are often the same person, this is not always the case. Therefore, a V5C document is not considered to be proof of ownership.
On 15th April 2019, the DVLA amended the V5C document’s design with a view to improving the customer experience and easing the data digitisation process. The current V5C document design is shown below:
The launch of the new-style V5C logbooks has created some confusion among motorists, as some popular online resources still reference the old-style documents. To make things clearer, here is a quick explainer on the differences between the two:
A V5C logbook contains the following information:
On the front cover of your V5C, you’ll see a panel with guidance for each of the six sections. This will inform you of which section you need to fill in. (If you don’t, this means you have an old-style V5C.)
You should complete the bottom part of section 1 if you need to update your vehicle’s details. If the changes are not listed in section 1, add notes to the ‘Vehicle details’ section.
You may also need to submit additional evidence for the changes with your V5C. For more information, please visit the ‘What evidence to give’ guide on the DVLA website.
If any of the following have changed, post the whole V5C to: DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1DZ:
For any other changes, post your V5C to: DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BA.
The DVLA will then contact you to:
It can take 2-4 weeks for your replacement logbook to arrive.
If you have not received it within 4 weeks, you should contact the DVLA. If you haven’t received your logbook after 6 weeks (and failed to notify the DVLA within this timeframe), you’ll have to pay £25 for a replacement.
Alternatively, you can notify the DVLA by detaching and completing Section 2 of the V5C logbook, then posting it to: DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BA.
If you have a private number plate and wish to keep it, you’ll need to take it off your car before selling it. To learn more, visit our guide ‘How to retain a private number plate’. (If you are happy to sell the car with the private plate attached, no action is required).
You should complete this section if you have moved to a new address and/or changed your name. If you fail to inform the DVLA of these changes, you could incur a fine of £1,000.
What’s more, if you do not update your address in good time, important documents such as V11 reminders and DVLA car tax refunds will be sent to the wrong address.
If these details have changed (or the details in your current V5C are incorrect), complete Section 3 and send the whole V5C document by post to: DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BA.
Section 4 is only relevant if you have sold your car to a motor dealer such as:
After the sale, you will retain Section 4 – and the motor dealer will retain the remainder of the V5C logbook. At this point, you must tell the DVLA that you have sold your car.
Alternatively, you can notify the DVLA by completing Section 4 and sending the whole section by post to: DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BA.
When submitting Section 4 by post, you should include the following information:
You should complete Section 5 if you are planning to export your vehicle for more than 12 months. (This is considered a ‘permanent export’.)
Complete this section with the following information:
Detach Section 5 by tearing along the red perforated line and post it to: DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BA.
Complete this section with the following information when selling your car (or gifting it) to someone else:
If you are the new keeper of a car and you want to tax it, you can use to the reference number on the new keeper’s slip to tax it whilst waiting for the new logbook to arrive.
Remember, all cars must be insured and taxed – or declared SORN. (You may incur a fine if your car does not meet these criteria.)
You should not send this section to the DVLA. (They will not send you a new V5C logbook.)
The seller will register the vehicle to you either online or by post, fill in the green new keeper slip and give this to you. The DVLA will then send out a new V5C to you in 3-5 days, and the seller should destroy the old V5C.
Simply order the duplicate V5C online or over the telephone and it will be posted to the address the DVLA has on record.
You can also tax your car without a V5.
You can either fill in the relevant paper section and post it or complete a change online.
Simply visit the gov.uk website to change your address.
Fill in the relevant section and post it to the following address:
As above, fill in the relevant section and post it, or complete a change online.
You should update your V5C if you have changed your name, address - or vehicle.
You should contact the DVLA with the following information to inform them that your vehicle has been written off:
Yes, it is technically possible to sell your car without a V5C logbook.
However, a missing logbook will deter many buyers, as this may indicate the car has been stolen. Your car valuation will also be reduced.
Therefore, if this document is missing, we recommend applying for a duplicate logbook via the DVLA website – or by submitting a V62 form to the DVLA by post (if any of your details have changed).
You can find your V5C (or vehicle registration) number at the top of the document. This combination of numbers and letters is unique to each vehicle.
No, a V5C logbook is not proof of ownership. (This is stated on the document itself.)
The registered keeper and the owner are not necessarily the same person.
If you have bought a new car, you should receive the V5C logbook within 4 weeks of the vehicle being registered.
If you submitted a V62 form by post, you should receive your logbook within 4 weeks.
If you have bought a used vehicle (and the seller registered it to you online) - or requested a replacement V5C, you should receive your logbook within 3-5 days.
Download and fill in the V62 form. Send it to the DVLA with the green ‘new keeper’ slip you were given when you bought the vehicle. (You won’t have to pay a fee in this instance.)
Apply online and you should receive it at the registered keeper’s address within 3-5 days.
It is often possible to tax your car without a V5C logbook. You can find the reference number you need on your V11 reminder document. (The DVLA should send you this after the 5th day of the month before your car tax is due.)