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Vehicle Theft

What to do if your vehicle is stolen



If your vehicle is stolen you should report it immediately to the police. The police will notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) of the details of the theft and any recovery of the vehicle on your behalf.

Call your local police station
Before calling the police to report the theft of your vehicle, make sure you have all the vehicle details to hand ie registration number, make, model and colour of the vehicle. The police will give you a crime reference number which you will need in the event of an insurance claim and claim for a refund of vehicle tax on your tax disc.

Call your insurance company
You will need to contact your insurance company immediately for advice. If your vehicle is not recovered and your insurance company pay out a claim, then you should tell the DVLA the date the payment was accepted and the name and address of the insurance company.

You should complete the 'notification of sale or transfer' V5C/3 section of your V5C registration certificate. If your insurance company request the whole of the registration document or certificate you should tell the DVLA in a letter giving the details of the insurance company and the date of the claim.

What you should do if you have a personalised registration number

If your stolen vehicle had a personalised registration number, you can normally reclaim it if the vehicle has still not been found after 12 months, provided certain requirements can be met.

• The theft must have been notified to the police and recorded on DVLA records as stolen for not less than 12 months
• At the time of the theft, the vehicle must have had a current MOT test certificate
• At the time of theft, the vehicle must have had a current vehicle tax disc
• The DVLA will require a letter from your insurers confirming they have no objection to the number being re-issued

What should I do if my car is found after being stolen?

Cloned Vehicles
Cloning involves the copying of the identity of a similar (non-stolen) vehicle already on the road. Criminals find an exact match of the car they have stolen, they then copy the identity of the legitimate vehicle, therefore making it look legal based on false number plates being fitted.

If you suspect your vehicle has been cloned, the following points will help you avoid becoming a victim of further crime.

What you need to do
• return any fines or correspondence to the issuing authorities providing them with any documentary evidence you have to prove your case
• write to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), Swansea, SA99 1ZA or fax them on 01792 783 083, they will record your correspondence on the vehicle record for future reference
• contact the police, it is a matter for them to trace and prosecute the culprit to prevent this illegal activity from continuing

What happens next
DVLA will give consideration to issuing a new registration mark on request if satisfied that there is a genuine case of vehicle cloning and that there is a recurring problem. Acceptable evidence might include applications to register and licence a vehicle from someone other than the registered keeper.

What is being done to stop cloning?
As part of the government’s drive to reduce vehicle related crime, DVLA has implemented measures to seek to address the problem.

The introduction of the Registered Number Plate Supplier (RNPS) scheme means that:
•all current number plate suppliers in the United Kingdom must register with DVLA
•registered suppliers must keep a record of every sale
•documentary evidence of the customer's name and address and entitlement to the registration mark requested, must be obtained
•A team of DVLA enforcement officers works closely with police and trading standards colleagues to help ensure number plate suppliers adhere to the rules.
•Intelligence led enforcement action is taken against those in breach of the requirements, including prosecution, fines and removal from the number plate supplers register.

This has introduced much greater control over the supply of number plates.

To help tackle the theft of number plates, DVLA has led the development of an agreed voluntary standard for theft-resistant plates.

Once these plates are detached from a vehicle they cannot be used again.


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