Claiming a Classic Motorcycle Registration


If your classic motorcycle has been lovingly stored for decades or is a recent dusty barn-find, there's a good chance it has never been registered with the DVLA, e.g. if it is pre-1983 and hasn't been taxed since then.

Alternatively you may have a classic motorcycle with an age-related number plate that isn't the original and you've managed to track down the original registration number like Sherlock Holmes.

Here are a few pointers to help you claim back the original number plate and restore your bike to its former glory and original status.

Can I claim my bikes original registration plate?

Only if it's never been registered with the DVLA before OR if your bike is already registered with an age-related number plate.

If someone else has already registered it on an age-related vehicle then it's tough luck. They cannot be retained or transferred after they have been issued.

Registering your Motorcycle for the first time

If it has never been registered before, you must first comply with the various road regulations, however assuming it's road-legal you can then register the bike using a V55/5 form.

There's a different process to follow if it's a reconstructed classic, i.e. built from genuine period parts of the same specification as the original motorcycle and a true reflection of the marque. If it doesn't meet the criteria you could get stuck with a dreaded Q Plate.

What evidence do I need to claim the original registration?

You will need to complete an application to register your motorcycle under its original registration number (V765 form), including:

  • A completed V55/5 form (if its the first ever registration) or V5/V5C showing the current age-related registration number;
  • A recent photo of your motorbike; and
  • Evidence to link the claimed registration number

You will need an authorised owners’ club representative to endorse your V765 form (the 'recommendation' basically validates it's the genuine bike and not a modern replica). To assist them in the process, you'll need to provide the club with evidence that links your bike to the original registration number, including:

  • The original old style log book (RF60/VE60);
  • Archive / library records showing the plate and the chassis number (authorised by the archivist, detailing the source material used);
  • Other pre-1983 documents linking the chassis and registration plate to your motorcycle (have you got things like old tax discs, service records or the original bill of sale)

You may also be asked to present your bike for inspection (probably for a fee). A list of classic vehicle clubs able to endorse your application form is available from the DVLA.

Once they have copied your original evidence they can authenticate it with a club stamp / signature to verify it's a copy of the original (enables you to hold on to documents and saves losing genuine historical evidence in the post).

Completed forms and evidence, including club recommendation, must be sent to the K & R Team, DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1ZZ.

Can I transfer a claimed registration?

No. Once an original registration is claimed for a particular motorcycle and a V5C issued, the registration number must stay with that bike for good.

Likewise, a non-suffix or prefix age-related number plate will also be non-transferable.


Yesterdays Antique Motorcycles en Classic Motorcycle Archive [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.5], from Wikimedia Common