V5C Image: Open Government Licence v3.0

I wasn’t concentrating and shredded it“, “it was in my trouser pocket and went through the washing machine” and “my parrot destroyed it” are among the most unusual reasons people have shared with DVLA for needing a replacement vehicle registration certificate (V5C).

DVLA launched an online service to get a replacement V5C in September 2020. It said this is the quickest way to replace the document.

Motorists can order a replacement no matter the reason and since launch the service has been used more than 300,000 times (around 5,800 times a week).

Other unusual reasons shared with DVLA include:

  • My child covered their school book with it
  • I left it at a hotel in the Gobi Desert when driving across Asia during my gap year
  • Someone bought me a car for my birthday – they wrapped the keys in the V5C and I tore it open without knowing
  • The dog ate it
  • It blew out the window and when I went to look for it, it was gone
  • My grandchild took it to play outside and buried it in the mud

Julie Lennard, DVLA chief executive, said:

“Our online service to replace a V5C is quick and easy to use and means customers will receive their replacement vehicle registration certificate within the week.

“So whether you misplaced your V5C, it’s being digested by your pet or your kids have used it for arts and crafts – the quickest way to get a replacement is on GOV.UK.”

Motorists who need to apply for a replacement V5C should go online, and a new one should be sent within five working days. Motorists applying by post may have to wait up to six weeks.

It costs £25 for a replacement V5C whether you go online or apply by post. The service to replace a lost or damaged V5C on GOV.UK followed the change address on vehicle log book service, launched in June, which has been used more than 1.6 million times.

Motorists can also use DVLA’s online services to let DVLA know when they sell or buy a vehicle, change the address on their driving licence or to renew their driving licence.