Whether you’ve lost your V5C or can’t find your insurance documents, there’s no need to panic.
Here's what you need to do if you’ve lost the paperwork you need for your car. From ordering a new logbook online and getting replacement V5C sorted to arranging a new MOT certificate or driving licence.
It’s easy to lose track of important documents like your car log book when you’re moving house, or renovating.
And typically, it’s only when you’re in the middle of an application when you need to dig out paperwork or ID that you realise something’s amiss.
You might also need to replace your documents should they get damaged or destroyed – dogs can chew through paper and plastic in no time at all.
The good news is that there should be no need to get into too much of a fluster. It should usually be relatively straightforward to get hold of replacements.
But the steps you need to take and the costs differ, largely depending on what you’ve actually lost.
I’ve lost my V5C, what should I do?
If you've lost your log book, getting a V5C replacement is pretty straightforward.
The easiest way to replace a lost car log book is to submit an online application with the DVLA at GOV.UK.
To replace your lost log book online, you need to provide:
- The registration number
- The VIN/chassis number of your car
- The name and postcode registered in your log book
It does become slightly more complicated if any of the details in the original log book are out of date. If your personal details or the car’s information have changed, then you can’t apply for a replacement V5C online.
Instead, you must use form V62 to apply by post, sending it to the DVLA in Swansea.
In this case, DVLA says you should get the new log book within 6 weeks. That’s quite a jump from the maximum 5 working days it would take with a standard online application.
You can also apply to replace a lost log book over the phone by calling DVLA Vehicle Enquiries on 0300 790 6802. However, be warned, this route can take up to 6 weeks.
One occasion where it’s important to have your car log book is when you are trying to sell your car. Although you can sell your car without its V5C, it might be tricky.
If you’re buying a second hand car you also want to check its current owner hasn’t lost their log book.
How long does it take to get a replacement V5C?
If you apply online you should get your replacement V5C within 5 working days. Phone applications to replace lost log books take longer to process and you may have to wait as long as 6 weeks.
How to change the details on a V5C log book
If you need to change your name or the address on your log book you can do so via the government website. You need the registration number of your vehicle and your log book reference number.
The DVLA also need to be informed if you make major changes to your car and you need to update your V5C. This includes changes to the colour, the chassis or the seating capacity.
How much does it cost to replace a lost V5C car log book?
The application costs £25, which you can pay online by either credit or debit card. Should you later find your lost V5C, you can’t get a refund.
What is a V5C log book for?
Your V5C log book proves that you own your car - showing the DVLA the registration and tax history of the vehicle. This is why it's so important to replace a lost log book.
What should I do if I've lost my other motoring documents?
It's not just a lost log book that you might need to replace at some point.
How to replace your driving licence
Say your driving licence is lost, damaged, stolen or destroyed.
For your online application, you need to provide:
- Details of the addresses you’ve lived at during the past 3 years
- Your National Insurance number
- Your UK passport number
You must also be able to confirm that you’ve not been disqualified from driving.
To complete the online application, you must pay £20 by credit or debit card. You should get a confirmation email from DVLA once you’ve applied.
Expect to get your replacement photo ID driving licence through the post within a week. The DVLA no longer issues paper counterparts.
Should you then find your old licence at a later date in the end, you're meant to return it through the post to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AB
For more information, check out our guide on driving licence categories and codes.
How do I replace my MOT certificate?
You can also apply for a replacement MOT test certificate online at GOV.UK.
All you need is your car’s registration number and the 11-digit number from the log book.
There’s no charge to apply for a replacement MOT test certificate online.
Alternatively, you can request a replacement from any MOT centre – it doesn’t have to be the same centre where you got your MOT done.
The maximum fee they can charge to do this is £10.
As you might expect, driving with an expired MOT could land you with a hefty fine.
But so long as your MOT is still valid, you’re allowed to drive as you wait for the replacement paperwork to arrive.
How to replace your car insurance policy documents
This should be about the easiest type of car paperwork to replace. These days car insurance companies generally allow you to access and print off your insurance documents online as and when you like.
Otherwise, you could contact your insurer to request a replacement document, though insurers might charge an administration fee to do it this way.
Compare car insurance quotes
How to replace your passport
Passports are one of the more expensive documents to replace and they can take time, meaning it’s not a job to leave to the last minute.
Whether you’ve lost your passport, had it stolen or damaged, you must apply to the passport office for a replacement.
The passport office also says you must replace your passport if it has ‘more than reasonable wear and tear’ as you risk being turned away at border checkpoints.
The cost and process involved in getting a replacement depend on how quickly you need it.
Assuming you don’t need your replacement passport urgently, you can make a standard online application at GOV.UK.
The standard application costs £75.50 and means you usually get your new passport in about 3 weeks.
To make the online application, you need a digital photo and a credit or debit card to make the payment.
If you’re replacing a lost or stolen passport, you need to ask someone to confirm your identity online as well.
You can also do a standard application by post using a paper form, though this costs £85.
For the paper application, you need 2 printed photos, with 1 of the photos countersigned by someone to confirm your identity.
If you need a passport urgently, there’s the passport office’s Online Premium Service, but you’re only allowed to use it if you actually have the old passport.
It costs £177 but means you could have a new passport within a couple of days.
However, the passport office will allow you to use their one-week Fast Track Service to replace a lost, stolen or damaged passport, at a cost of £142.
You need to book an appointment and pay by card in advance.