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How to replace lost car paperwork

How to replace lost car paperwork


If you lose important motoring documentation, you could be entering a world of pain.

Imagine trying to sell a car without its log book? Or hiring one without a driving licence? Here’s the most important paperwork for your car, and what to do if you can’t find it:

Driving licence

Your driving licence is just about the most important car document. Without it you can end up facing hefty fines and possible criminal prosecution.

The easiest way to get a replacement is through the DVLA’s website or on the phone (call the DVLA on 0300 790 6801). Or you can apply with forms obtained at your local Post Office.

Cost: All new driving licences are of the photo-card variety and cost £20.

Wait time: Expect to wait about 3 weeks.

 Log book (V5C)

The log book, or V5C as it’s officially titled, allows you to sell and transfer your car’s ownership, as well as tax it.

The simplest way to get a new log book if yours has been defaced, destroyed, lost or stolen is to call the DVLA and order a new one. You can also apply by post using a V62 form from your local PO.

You can only apply for a new one if it was in your name in the first place, however. So be very wary of buying a second-hand car if the seller says they don’t have the log book.

Cost: £25

Wait time: Up to five days.

Car insurance

Driving without insurance is a criminal offence and you might be required to show a hard copy of cover in the event of an accident.

Most car insurers should be able to provide a replacement insurance certificate via email free of cost. They should also be able to send a hard copy in the post if required, but some may charge.

Cost: Free via email or £20 to £30 for a hard copy.

Wait: Instant if via email or a couple of days via the post.

MOT certificate

A digital copy of your MOT certificate as now kept online by VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency). Registered MOT test garages can access this and update it, so getting a hard copy shouldn’t be a problem and garages can print one out for you.

It’s not a legal requirement, but a copy might be useful if you’re selling the car.

Cost: Free or around £10, depending on the test centre.

Wait time: Immediate if the test centre can respond quickly.

Service history

Keeping a car’s service history is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea as it could help you sell your car more easily if you have a record of it.

Your garage should be able to provide you with a print out. But if you’ve used many different garages for repairs and MOTs, it’s going to be hard to collate what you need.

Cost: Should be free from your garage

Wait time: Instant if your garage can respond immediately.


Policy Expert

Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, so we have a team of experts with a real passion for making sure people get the cover that’s right for them. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit for more ways to reach us.


Published 12th September 2018