LAW GUIDE FOR DRIVERS: This section explains the legal obligations of all drivers and riders in the United Kingdom.
What are the duties and responsibilities of drivers and registered keepers of vehicles?
Legalities include getting a valid driving licence and registering your vehicle with DVLA. The law states you must also inform DVLA when there are any changes in your personal or vehicle details.
Note: Car drivers and motorcycle riders must have the legal obligations in place before driving on roads.
Legal Obligations Before Driving or Riding
All vehicle drivers and motorcycle riders must:
- Meet the legal age restrictions for driving or riding.
- Meet the legal rules on eyesight regulations.
- Hold the correct driving licence for the vehicle or motor bike.
Legal Obligations of a Learner Driver
All learner drivers must:
Legal Requirements for Vehicles
Drivers legal obligations mean the vehicle must:
- Be registered with DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency).
- Have and display vehicle road tax which must also be up to date.
- Hold a current MOT certificate (where required).
- Have proper roadworthiness for the roads in the United Kingdom (check your vehicle is safe to drive).
Note: You must get a minimum of third party insurance covering the use of your vehicle on public roads.
Reporting Changes in Personal Information or Vehicle Details
All drivers and riders must inform DVLA if you:
Legal Obligations for Driving Large Vehicles or Buses
Higher and stricter medical and eyesight standards apply for drivers of larger vehicles. You must also inform DVLA if you have acquired any driving convictions.
Inform DVLA if you have any other convictions when applying for a passenger-carrying vehicle (PCV) licence.
Producing Your Driving Documents to Police
If a police officer asks to see your driving documentation, you must be able to show or produce:
- Your valid driving licence.
- A valid and appropriate insurance certificate.
- A valid MOT certificate (if required for your vehicle).
Note: What happens if you do not have the documents with you when the police stopped you while driving? In this case they may ask you to produce valid documentation at a police station within 7 days.
What to Do when Selling a Vehicle
You will have certain responsibilities and obligations to fulfill if you sell your vehicle. One of them is giving the correct information to the buyer. Another will be submitting the right information to the DVLA.
Before Selling a Vehicle
You should apply to update the vehicle log book (V5C) before you make the sale. So, you may need to:
- Change your address or name on your vehicle log book (V5C).
- Change vehicle details on a V5C registration certificate (log book).
Note: Having incorrect details means you will not be able to cancel your vehicle tax and get a refund for any full months that are remaining.
Protecting the Vehicle Log Book
It is normal practice to show the log book to any potential buyers. Doing so allows them to check that the details match the vehicle. But, you should never share:
- Copies or pictures of the log book.
- The log book document reference number.
A scammer could use this information to acquire a fraudulent copy of the log book. So, it increases the risk of the vehicle being stolen (or cloned).
Important: You may need to take a private number off a vehicle with a private (personalised) registration number if you want to keep it.
After Selling a Vehicle
When you sell your vehicle, the country that the buyer is taking it to or registering it in determines what you need to do with the log book.
Vehicles Staying in United Kingdom
If it will stay in the UK after it is sold, the seller should give the green ‘new keeper’ slip section of the log book to the buyer.
You must always tell DVLA you’ve sold, transferred, or bought a vehicle. So, you need to notify them of the full name and address of the buyer. Failing to do so may affect a claim for any vehicle tax refund.
Vehicles Taken or Registered Abroad
If the buyer will be taking the vehicle overseas of United Kingdom, and registering it abroad, the seller should:
- Fill in the ‘permanent export’ section of the V5C (vehicle log book).
- Send it to the DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BD and include a letter telling them the buyer’s name and address.
- Give the rest of the log book to the buyer so they can register the vehicle in the relevant country.
Note: As a rule, the seller will get any refund of vehicle tax owing within six (6) weeks. The DVLA would calculate the value of a refund from the date they receive the ‘permanent export’ section.