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Cloning Prevention

1. Keep your log book in a safe place at home – a locked desk or safe is a good idea

2. DO NOT hand out your log book by email

3. If you’re selling your car don't let the log book out of your sight

What is being done to stop cloning?

DVLA are working on a range of measures to seek to address the problem.

Since 1 January 2003:

  • all number plate suppliers in England and Wales must register with DVLA
  • registered suppliers must keep a record of every sale and must obtain documentary evidence of the customers name and address and entitlement to the registration mark requested

This has for the first time, introduced some control over the supply of number plates, but further steps will have to be taken to make number plates more secure and make it more difficult for criminals to clone vehicles.

Amongst measures currently being investigated are the electronic tagging of number plates, the development of theft-resistant plates that cannot be used once detached from a vehicle and number plates that hold electronic information about the vehicle.

How to Avoid Buying Cloned Vehicles?

• Ask to see proof of the seller's identity and address - an official letter or driving licence, for example.
• Make sure the car's VIN matches that on the registration document (V5) - The VIN, formerly known as the chassis number, is a unique 17 character number issued to every vehicle by the manufacturer and can be found:

• Stamped on the body chassis or frame.
• On a manufacturer's VIN plate under the bonnet or fixed to the post between the front and rear doors.
• On an additional plate fixed securely to the top corner of the dashboard where it can easily be seen through the windscreen - this is called a visible VIN.

• Let the seller bring the car to you, as you may need to confirm their address details.

• Buy a car without the registration document (V5) - make sure it has a DVLA watermark and has not been altered in any way

VIN numbers and where can I find it?

A VIN is a car’s unique identity number. You can usually find it under the bonnet, at the base of the windscreen, on an inner door panel, in the boot or on the floor beside the front driver or passenger seat.

The VIN’s location depends on the make and model of the car. If you can’t find it, check the vehicle handbook. Make sure the VIN number:

• Is 17 characters long – a mixture of letters and numbers
• Has no stickers or other obstructions placed over it
• Hasn’t been tampered with or replaced
• Matches the VIN number in the log book

Locate the VIN (vehicle identity number).

Also See
VIC Check
HPI Check Information

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