What does it mean when the DVLA can’t find your details?

The DVLA is the government body that is the national centre for issuing licences and registering cars. So, it essentially keeps all the information about all the cars registered in the United Kingdom.

Which means your car should be on there. Right? There may be an occasion when the DVLA cannot find your details.

The main thing to do in this situation is to not panic. There are a few reasons why the DVLA might not have your details and in this article, we are going to go through these reasons, and what you can do to fix them.

Man at desk looking confused at paper and laptop

Who are the DVLA?

The DVLA are, as we mentioned above, the national centre for issuing licences and registering cars. Everyone who drives a car in this country is on the DVLA register. That’s around 45 million driver records and 39 million vehicle records.

The DVLA also collect your Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), record disqualifications and medical conditions and help the police to name but a few responsibilities. 

Why are my details not on the DVLA website?

There are different reasons why your details might not be on the DVLA website. In this section of the article, we are going to talk about the different scenarios and how you can fix them.

Why is my new car not showing up on the DVLA website?

If you have bought a new car and you are waiting for it to be delivered, then you might want to check its registered on the DVLA website. However, you may find that it isn’t on there. But don’t worry, there is a perfectly valid explanation for this. Dealerships are allocated the registration number of a car a week or two before it’s due to be delivered. However, they won’t register the car with the DVLA until the day of delivery. This is essentially because they don’t want to register a car and then the order be cancelled. So your new car won’t be on the DVLA website until the day of delivery. And even then, it might take a few days for it to appear. This is because of the sheer amount of cars that get registered on the DVLA website every day, so it may take a few days. We recommend checking back a week or so after to ensure that it’s on there.

There may be an occasion where the dealership may need more information from you before they can register the car. In which case, you will have to provide them with the information promptly so they can register the car.

However, there could be another reason. While it’s very rare, we have seen it happen. The dealership may have put the wrong registration plate on your car. So, the registration plate that has been allocated to you could be something like BBC but your registration plate on your car is BCC. In which case, you contact the dealer and they will change it no problem.

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What should I do if my car still isn’t appearing on the DVLA?

If your car still isn’t appearing on the DVLA then this is what you have to do;

Contact the dealership or vehicle broker you got your car from. If the dealership is in the wrong, then it will be fixed with no problem. If the dealership says they’ve done everything right then you will contact the DVLA. If you are leasing a car, then you will need to contact your finance house they will be the ones who will contact the DVLA because they are the registered keeper of the vehicle. You can read more about registered keepers here.

However, if you are buying the car, then you will contact the DVLA yourself. They will then rectify the issue. Once the vehicle is registered, you will receive the V5C, or the log book, within 6 weeks.

Why is my used car not showing up on the DVLA website?

If you have just bought a used car, then you will need to register it with the DVLA under your name. This is pretty straightforward and doesn’t take too long.

The seller will fill out section 6 of the log book. This is the ‘new keeper or new name/new address details’. You will both sign the declaration in section 8. They will have to fill in section 10, the ‘new keeper supplement’ and hand this over to you. This is also known as the V5C/2. They will then send the V5C to the DVLA.

You will then receive a new V5C within 2 to 4 weeks of getting the old one.

Close-up of a car numberplate reading

What do I do if I haven’t received a new log book?

If you haven’t received your new log book then you will have to complete a V62 form which you can download here (or get from any Post Office branch).

You will then send it to the DVLA with the V5C/2 given to you by the person who sold you the vehicle. You need to send the V5C/2 with it, otherwise you will have to pay.

If you still haven’t received anything after six weeks after sending the V62 form in, you will have to contact the DVLA.

How do I view my driving licence details?

You will be able to check your driving licence details here. You can;

  • See your driving record
  • Check penalty points and disqualifications
  • Create a licence ‘check code’ to share this information with someone else such as a car hire company (this code is only valid for 21 days)

There is no reason why the DVLA should not have your licence details correct. The only reason they may not, is if you haven’t updated them. For example, when you have moved house or changed your name.

Close up of woman using a laptop

How do I change my details on the DVLA?

If you need to change your name or your address then you need to do this as soon as possible. You will have to ensure that your licence, your vehicle log book and vehicle tax are all up to date with this new information.

If you tax your car via direct debit then you will need to change the billing address as well. If you don’t update your address, then you can be fined up to £1,000. It only takes five minutes, is free, and you can do it all online here. In conclusion, the chances of the DVLA not having your details is very slim. There is a chance that the dealership registered the wrong plate with the wrong car when you first purchased it, in which case, it is very easily fixable. Or, the details may have not been put on the DVLA website yet. When you buy a used car it is your responsibility, and the sellers, to change these details and register the used car with you on the DVLA. It is also your responsibility to change your information, such as your address, should it change.

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