Newsletter Signup


    An ‘important breakthrough’ on the horizon for classic car paper registration


    There may be changes coming to the way classic car owners register their vehicles. The DVLA have said they will consider working with industry experts to help manage registrations for restored classics, and therefore reduce the amount of time it takes to get newly-restored classics on the road.

    The current system means that those who want to register a restored vehicle need to apply directly to the DVLA. There are a couple of ways to register: owners can either apply for the old registration to be re-assigned to the finished vehicle, or apply for a new registration entirely.


    However, as some may already be aware, there DVLA are currently facing a huge backlog of around 6-10 weeks for paper registration applications. This issue has mainly been attributed to industry difficulties brought about by COVID, as there are fewer people available to manage paperwork.

    In a recent Transport Committee meeting, Karl McCartney MP highlighted complaints from the classic cars sector that dealing with the DVLA was a ‘torturous process’ with severe disruptions in communication, and suggested the DVLA find more effective ways of working with the industry to solve the issue.

    It was suggested that the DVLA work with specialists in the Historic and Classic Vehicles Association (HCVA) and the Federation of British Historic Vehicles Club (FBHVC) to manage paper applications and reduce the backlog. This is now being considered by the DVLA as a solution to the issue, and will mean an important change not only to the current registration issues, but also paves the way for more collaboration between the DVLA and the classic car industry in the future.

    A breakthrough

    Malcolm McKay, Director of the HCVA, described this as ‘a really important breakthrough’ between the DVLA and the classic cars sector. ‘We are pleased that the DVLA is showing such a constructive approach and is willing to engage with the sector to try to resolve these ongoing issues. It’s always been the HCVA’s position that industry experts can help solve these problems. We hope that through dialogue we can improve the process for everyone in the sector – and alleviate some of the strain on the extremely hard-pressed DVLA.’

    How do I register my classic?

    For those looking to register their restored classic, it may be a good idea to do so online, according to advice from Julie Lennard, CEO of the DVLA. ‘Our online services have worked perfectly throughout the pandemic and continue to do so,’ says Julie. ‘Paper documents are more challenging for us. There is a difference for different transactions, but roughly, as a guide, we are saying to people, “6 to 10 weeks if you apply on paper.”’

    You can apply on the government website here.

    To speak with an expert about your vehicle insurance needs, please call a member of the Heritage team on 0121 248 9229.

    Newsletter Signup