Have you updated your Vehicle Registration Document (V5C Log Book), with your new address details, if not this can result in serious consequences!

3rd August 2017 Driving Offences

I have lost count on the number of enquiries over the years who start the conversation with 'I
have been convicted, sentenced and received a heavy fine but worst of all I have received 6
points and I have been disqualified from driving'.

It is quite often that they seek to contest everything, as they have no idea how this has
happened. It is necessary to work backwards from the sentence, to the offence date. Most are
completely at a loss that they have committed an offence. When I ask who owns the vehicle
and they respond 'me', and then I ask where is it registered? Can be followed with an eerie
silence. It then dawns upon them that it was the last thing they had thought about when
moving addresses. Some are of the view that updating their driving licence also updates the
V5C Log Book, unfortunately not! Perhaps the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)
should give some a reminder especially when an address changes on the licence.

Although the majority of us will update our V5C Log Book there are countless of owners who
do not.

The most extreme example is a client I represented not too long ago, where they were arrested
at Dover coming home from France on a family holiday. It transpired that this particular
client had been convicted of two separate offences of failing to identify the driver, following
two speeding offences, one in Warwickshire and the second in North Wales.

Letters were sent to an old home address, and as no response was received the case proceeded
to Court. At Court the client was disqualified for 6 months and also had a warrant issued for
their arrest. The client had no clue this had taken place at any stage!

Can it get worse, unfortunately YES? The client when leaving Dover, their vehicle was
flagged on an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) device. Police were then on
standby for the car, and then his vehicle was stopped, and subsequently arrested (with his
whole family watching and members of the public). The new offences, he faced now were
driving whilst disqualified and no insurance. Unfortunately his family were left to make
arrangements to get home and the client had the displeasure of being remanded in prison. The
client was then taken the following day to North Wales before Court. I should make clear that
this client was a professional person with no previous convictions, but as a warrant for his
arrest was outstanding the Police had no choice but to remand him.

In summary, when we deciphered everything it came down to a simple task, updating the
V5C Log Book that's all. Due to the failings it resulted in the following;

  1. Criminal Convictions (Had to be disclosed to employers, insurance company and also
  2. their professional body),
  3. Risk of unemployment,
  4. Stress and pressure of the whole case looming over them,
  5. Financial pressures, due to outstanding fines from courts; and
  6. Legal Costs to rectify all matters (luckily after dealing with all separate cases including the new offences in three separate regions, they retained their driving licence).

If you do not want to be in the above scenario, then update your V5C Log Book. If not then
you could end up in a similar position above and I don't think anyone wants to end up in the
above position.

What is a Vehicle Registration Document?
When you own a vehicle outright or at some stage may own it if you have obtained your
vehicle through Hire Purchase (HP), you will go down as the registered keeper of the vehicle.
This important document is known as a V5C Log Book, which holds important information
about you and your vehicle. This includes, name, address, vehicle make, model and so forth.
It is similar to a passport to confirm your identity, but this to confirm the identity of your car.

What does is look like; I have never seen one before?
If you have not seen a V5C Log Book before, then either someone else deals with it on your
behalf, your not the owner, or you probably shouldn't own a vehicle if you don't know! But if
you have not, then see image below to provide you with some help.

What if I have not updated my Vehicle Registration Document what should I do next?
Firstly, I would check your driving licence online through https://www.gov.uk/view-drivinglicence
you will need your driving licence number, national insurance number to hand.
This is to check that you have not been convicted of anything that you are not aware of. If you
have been convicted then you will need some legal advice as to the next steps(see below). If
you have not been convicted then, immediately update your address information. This can be
completed online at the following address https://www.gov.uk/change-name-address-v5c.

What are the consequences of me failing to update my Vehicle Registration Documents?
Well I am sure having considered the above scenario at the beginning of this article some will
be panicking realising that they have not updated the V5C Log Book and others will give it a
second glance to be sure. My advice is DO IT immediately. Not only could you be
prosecuted by the DVLA and receive a fine up to 1000 pounds, but there could be
prosecutions you are not aware of, resulting in the loss of your licence. The only silver lining
to my client's case in the earlier part of this article was that he was not involved in an
accident. This would have resulted in costs from the third party against my client directly as
the insurance was not valid, due to the terms of the insurance policy.

I have been convicted of an offence of failing to give information and received a
conviction code MS90 without my knowledge, what should I do?
Firstly don't panic and secondly update your details immediately to prevent any further
issues. Thereafter make contact with me and I will see if I can help.
It will be worthwhile to figure out where it has all gone wrong, and if it transpires you are not
at fault then you may have a defence to the offences. This would result in you making a
statutory declaration re-opening the case and thereafter running a defence. However, if you
are the sole cause of the failure to receive documents then unfortunately you will not have any

If you haven't checked your V5C Log book by the end of this article then you must be like
me 100% sure it's up to date. If your still reading this article and you don't have a clue stop
reading and go get it done!

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Hojol Uddin is a Partner and Head of Department located in Manchesterin our Driving Offences department

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