My partner has lost the documents for his car. He’s now sold it and the new owner needs to tax the car. Can he get copies of the document?

lost the documents

Our reader’s grandmother who suffers from dementia apparently threw the paperwork away. They then sold the car, thinking it wouldn’t be a problem if they declared it to the new owner. But now that new owner needs the V5C to tax the vehicle.

How do you get a replacement V5C?

This document is sometimes called the logbook. It contains all the details about your car and is for the registered keeper. If it has been lost, stolen, or damaged, you can get a replacement from the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA).

However, to apply for a new logbook online, you have to be the car’s registered keeper. You should also have the vehicle in your possession. And you can’t apply to have any changes, such as registered keeper or address made. Using this service will cost £25 and you should have the new V5C within five days.

What if you don’t have the car?

If you’ve sold the car (as our reader has) or you need to change the details on the V5C, you must apply by post. Again, the cost is £25 and you should get the replacement document within six weeks. But there have been delays with getting documents out of the DVLA in recent months.

Or make it the buyer’s problem

Our reader doesn’t have to get the new V5C from the DVLA himself if he doesn’t want to. He has after all sold the vehicle and the buyer was obviously content to buy it without the necessary paperwork.

We’d suggest our reader contacts the buyer and explains how they go about it. First the new owner will have to download and fill in the V62 logbook application form.

If they don’t have the new keeper slip from the V5C (which they won’t) they will need to pay the DVLA £25 when they post the form in. The process of doing it by post can be time consuming and take up to six weeks for the new V5C to arrive.

What the new owner can do if they want to tax the vehicle at the same time as getting a new V5C, is take the completed V62 form along to the post office with their £25 and do the whole thing at once. But it must be a post office that deals with vehicle tax.

Buy a car with missing paperwork and there’s no guarantee the bloke in the middle hasn’t had something to do with it

Why is the V5C important?

It’s this that shows who the registered keeper of the car is. It’s worth remembering that the keeper and owner can be two separate people or entities.

Even so, buying a vehicle without the V5C can be a dangerous thing to do. There’s no proof that the vehicle is what it says it is (it might be a clone). But you can use the V5C to see the number of owners the car’s had, its engine size and even colour.

Remember, just because someone has the V5C doesn’t make them the vehicle’s owner. So it’s worthwhile conducting a vehicle history check to ensure they have the right to sell the car.