Foreign Vehicles - Obtaining A Personalised Registration

Published: 05th June 2013
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If you're planning on importing a motor vehicle in to the UK, the very first thing you'll need to do is to look into the most recent regulations (regardless of whether you do this frequently - they may have been altered since the last time you imported a car), as it is vital that the car complies with these requirements.

The motor vehicle will have to be registered for use in Great Britain - and for this to occur the DVLA must be sure that the vehicle is suitable for use on UK roads. In the event that the car was initially registered in the European union, this involves making declarations that your vehicle is suitable to be used in Great Britain and agreeing to carry out any alterations that might be necessary (for example fitting the correct amount of safety belts). This is part and parcel of the Mutual Recognition Scheme, and you'll be able to verify that your vehicle qualifies under this specific scheme just by speaking to the Vehicle Certification Agency. If they accept your application, the VCA will present you with documentation that's going to help support your registration application with the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency). The DVLA site will give you additional information about how to register your car for UK roads.

Having said that what about changing the registration plates? In the event you're buying a new private registration or even if you already have a personalised registration and would like to move the registration plate onto your imported motor vehicle, you'll need to ensure that you keep to the correct procedures (all terms and conditions may be found on the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency site).

Private Number Plates may be purchased from a variety of different places - online, at a DVLA auction, in a private purchase or from some sort of dealer. You can obtain any registration you want, provided that it's available for purchase, but you won't be able to make a vehicle look newer than it really is. When you're getting DVLA cherished plates for an imported vehicle, you're going to need a couple of things to hand: a V750 (the Certificate of Entitlement), an up to date M.O.T. for the vehicle as it is now in the UK, and the log book (entitled the V5 Registration Document).

If you are transferring a personalised registration that you already own, the regulations differ slightly, and you need to complete a V317 form. When the registration plate is being taken from another person's car, then both registered owners will need to fill in the form and then send it to the appropriate DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) office. A transfer fee of 80 is also necessary for this transaction, in addition to form V62 ('Application for a Vehicle Registration Certificate'). Again, all the specifics may be found on the DVLA web site, but take note that any supporting records and documents will have to be the originals; photocopies will not be accepted.

As a bit of a side note, when importing a car, it's always worth taking into consideration the practicalities of having it serviced in Great Britain: will there be difficulties when it comes to maintaining it as well as acquiring spares? It is also worth keeping in mind the narrow width of some UK roads should you be thinking about buying a huge vehicle from somewhere such as the US; the number plate might fit, but will the vehicle fit along our peaceful country lanes? Doing some research online before you choose your vehicle - and also your registration number - will help you make your decision.


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Getting a private number plate might be a fantastic way to hide the age of your vehicle, give your car a more distinctive appearance, or perhaps just invest your money. If you're interested in personalised registration plates, you can find a great deal more information on the internet.

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