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What to do if you lose your log book

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Losing your V5C log book means you might have difficulty selling, taxing or even insuring your car.

If you've lost your log book, don't panic - around half a million people every year lose or damage their log books, according to the DVLA. You can order a new log book from the DVLA and it should be with you in a few days.

Here's what you need to know about getting a replacement log book.

A V5C, or car logbook, with a car key on top of it

No. Unless you've written it down somewhere, the only place you can find your log book number is on your physical V5C log book.

Depending on whether any of your details have changed, there are a few ways to order a replacement log book:

  • Using the DVLA's online service
  • By phone
  • By post

Apply for a replacement log book online

If your address is up-to-date, the quickest way to replace your lost log book is to use the DVLA's Duplicate Vehicle Log Book service.

To apply for a new log book online, you need:

  • Your car's registration number
  • The VIN/chassis number of your car
  • The name and postcode registered in your log book

You should get your replacement V5C within 5 working days.

Apply for a replacement log book by phone

As long as your details are up-to-date, you can contact the DVLA on 0300 790 6802 to order your duplicate log book.

As with the online application, you need to give them:

  • Your reg number
  • Your car's VIN
  • The name and postcode on the log book

Applying by phone takes around 4 weeks. So if you need an urgent replacement log book, it's best to do it online.

Apply for a replacement log book by post

If you need to change your address as well as order a replacement log book, you have to apply by post. If your current address doesn't match the log book, you can't apply online or by phone.

You need to tell DVLA about any major changes to your car too, including changes to:

  • The colour
  • The chassis
  • The seating capacity

Instead, you must fill in form V62 and send it to:

SA99 1DD

It usually takes around 4 weeks to get a duplicate V5C by post.

It costs £25 to replace your log book, which you can pay online either by credit or debit card.

If you find your lost V5C afterwards, you can’t get a refund.

Your V5C log book shows who's responsible for registering and taxing your car. It proves who's responsible for the car, but it doesn't prove ownership. Your V5C also contains information about your car, including the:

  • Date the car was first registered
  • Make and model
  • Name and address of the current registered keeper
  • Number of previous registered keepers
  • Engine size
  • Colour

You need your log book if you want to:

Why do I need to make sure my address is up to date on my log book?

You log book tells the DVLA where to send any correspondence, including your tax reminder. The police and parking firms use DVLA databased when they issue penalties like speeding and parking tickets.

Having the wrong address on your log book means your tax reminders or parking fines may be sent to the wrong house. And if you don't pay on time because you never got the initial letter, things could escalate.

If you have your V11 tax reminder letter from the DVLA, you can still tax your car without your V5C. Enter the 16-digit reference number in the DVLA Vehicle Tax Service and follow the instructions.

If you don't have your V11 letter - and you're not waiting for a log book on a car you've just bought - you can't tax your car. You need to apply for a duplicate log book before you can tax the car.

If you have to wait a few weeks for your log book, you might have to give your car a SORN and keep it off the road until you're able to tax it.

Yes, you can sell your car without a V5C, but it's not recommended as it often makes the process more difficult.

Some buyers and dealers may lower their offer or simply refuse to buy a car when it's missing the log book. The lack of log book might look suspicious as it sometimes indicates the vehicle has been stolen or written-off.

But if you manage to sell a car without the log book, you still need to tell the DVLA about the change in ownership.

You also need to provide the buyer with a 'bill of sale' which should have the following details:

  • The buyer's full name and details
  • The car's make and model
  • The registration number and VIN plate number
  • The price and terms of payment
  • Confirmation that the car was 'sold as seen'
  • The signatures of both the buyer and seller
  • The date of the sale

This information should help the new owner apply for a new log book.

You don't need your log book to compare car insurance quotes with us, but certain insurers might ask for your log book details when you buy a policy.

When you compare car insurance quotes with us, we'll ask you, 'Who is the car registered to?' and you can select:

  • The policyholder
  • Spouse
  • Other driver
  • Parent
  • Private leased
  • Company leased
  • Limited company
  • Society or club

The person you select should match the registered keeper on your log book.

What our motor insurance expert says

“You can insure your car even if you're waiting for a replacement log book. When you compare quotes with us, we don't ask you for your log book number.

“It's not common for an insurance company to want your log book number, but they may ask for it to confirm who the registered keeper is. Particularly if you've listed the registered keeper as someone who's not the main driver.

"If an insurer asks for your log book number, explain to them that you're waiting on a replacement from the DVLA and they can advise you further."

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