Reclaiming your Registration Number

When do I need to reclaim a registration number?

The first thing that we must point out is that the following only applies to cars under the registration control of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (i.e. the "DVLA" based in Swansea, Wales) which is a UK Government organisation and therefore only applies to vehicles (and drivers ) in the UK. Although similar problems may well apply to member's cars in other countries, with the possible exception of providing validation that the vehicle in question in covered by the Club, the FSOC cannot get deeply involved in these other registration processes. The best course of action is to consult fellow classic car owners in your country (preferably Sidevalve ones) and then be prepared to approach the registration authorities directly.

In the general course of things, you may never have to reclaim your car's registration number but there are a couple of circumstances when you will need to register a car with DVLA.

The main reason for having to register a car with the DVLA is that the car was last on the road before the computerisation of such records; this happened in around 1977 or therabouts. Another reason may be that the vehicle is a special and it has never been registered since it was constructed (naturally existing specials that have on the road at some point probably fall under the first - pre-'77 - category).

Registering your car without a V5

If you have purchased a car without a V5 registration document, there are two options:

  1. Re-register the car with its original number.
  2. Apply for an age related number.

The first option is the best, if it can be achieved, as it maintains the originality of the Vehicle. In certain circumstances described below, an age-related number may be the only course open to you - this process is described towards the end of this page.

Re-registering the car with its original number

The DVLA have the V765 scheme for clubs to validate vehicles authenticity, the FSOC is a nominated Club for Ford Sidevalves.

To claim the original number of your car there must be documentary evidence linking the registration number with that car; (just having the car with plates is not accepted by DVLA).

The accepted forms of evidence must contain the Registration number and the chassis number the documents most commonly accepted are:

  • Buff logbook or older type of logbook.
  • Original bill of sale quoting registration number and car details, including chassis number.
  • A registration listing from a licensing county archive department, but these will only be useful if they carry chassis numbers.
  • Statuary bodies/archive departments may hold original documentation, which may contain the required evidence.

If you obtain copies of any documentation, ensure that the document is validated by the organization concerned. DVLA do not accept non-validated photocopies of documents.

The sequence of events

If the necessary evidence can be obtained, the process will be as follows:

  1. Request an introductory letter and form RF1 from the Club (please use the general enquiries Email address via the "Contacts" page for the request).
  2. Fill out a V765 form; see for the online form.
  3. Collect all supporting documents necessary (listed above) - these will be checked during the vehicle inspection and photocopies of documents are perfectly acceptable at this stage (do not send originals).
  4. Obtain a "rubbing" of the chassis and engine numbers, plus photographs of the complete vehicle showing front, side, rear, underside and inside, including the registration number to be reclaimed. For details of numbers and positions on the both "Uprights" and the 100E range of vehicles, try this. Send it to the Registrar of the FSOC appropriate for the vehicle type along with the relevant fee (all of the registrars' addresses can be found inside the front cover of the magazine).
  5. The Registrar of the FSOC will then check the details are adequate to satisfy DVLA requirements and confirm the chassis number and details are inline with the Ford production records.

If all of the submitted documentation seems correct, the Registrar of the FSOC will arrange a visit with the owner to inspect the car to verify the above (reasonable expenses are expected to be borne by the owner). By suitable prior arrangement, the vehicle can also be inspected at the Club's stores.

DVLA guidance on the matter

The DVLA have issued the following guidance:

DVLA guidance notes for countersigning V765 applications states: "Applications for the reclaiming original marks or for the issue of age-related numbers should be processed with extreme caution. An inspection of the vehicle by someone independent of the applicant should be undertaken as the norm".

What happens after documentation and vehicle inspection

Once the above process has been completed the Registrar of the FSOC will fill out all the necessary verification documents. These will normally be returned to the owner for processing at the local licensing office.

The whole registration process can be time consuming so therefore don't leave it to the last two weeks before you want to get your restoration on the road.

The Club works to the guidance as issued by the DVLA, and we put in much work to assist members but DVLA make the final decision on the documentation received from the local licensing office.

In the event of the DVLA re-issuing the original registration for the vehicle it will be on a non-transferable basis and it cannot be sold.

Applying for an age related number

If your vehicle is unable to meet the requirements to obtain its original registration, the DVLA has a scheme to give older vehicle an age-related number, that is a number format that would have been issued in that time.

The process compared to the above is simple, the club has to verify that the vehicle is what you claim it to be, for example a 1956 103E Popular.

The car does not have to be original, but its major parts (such as chassis, engine, gearbox, axles etc.) must be correct for the car you are claiming it to be.

The evidence required can be obtained by taking photographs and supplying details of the chassis number, engine number and letter advising originality and any modifications, or by a visit from a club official (reasonable expenses to be borne by the owner).

Once the verification has been completed, the club will write a letter for you which can then be forwarded to your local vehicle licensing office, who will then issue an age related number.

Remember that age-related numbers, like re-issued original registrations, are non-transferable and cannot be sold.