How do I Register A Foreign Vehicle In The UK?

This blog answers the question “How do I register a foreign vehicle in the UK?”A foreign vehicle needs to be registered in the UK after being imported and a new vehicle registration certificate will be issued by the DVLA at the end of the process. 

How Do I Register A Foreign Vehicle In The UK?

The method of registering a foreign vehicle in the UK is explained in the following steps:

  • Write a letter to HMRC informing them that you have brought a foreign vehicle into the UK. You need to register (on the website)to obtain a notification that your vehicle has been imported by using a Government Gateway ID and creating a password for your account. 

Once you have made an account HMRC will be notified through this NOVA service that your vehicle has been delivered to the UK.

  • You might also need to pay any required VAT or vehicle duty on your vehicle import
  • Obtaining an Individual Vehicle Approval is the next requirement
  • Your application for foreign vehicle registration needs to be sent to DVLA by post or through the online form (on the website). This application consists of your V55 form and V267 Certificate of Newness as well as a proof of identity document. You should also attach your vehicle’s Foreign Registration Certificate (FRC)
  • The vehicle registration fee of £55 can be paid through Direct Debit
  • Mail your application to the following address if you are applying by post:



          SA99 1BE

A foreign vehicle’s registration can be checked if you know its registration number in the UK. You can identify the vehicle at by entering this number. A foriegn vehicle will not be allowed to be driven on the road without obtaining this registration.

How do I import a vehicle into the UK?

You have to complete a few steps once you permanently bring a vehicle to the UK.

You can decide to pay an importer to go register the vehicle on your behalf

  • Notify HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) of your vehicle’s arrival in the UK through NOVA
  • Pay VAT and excise duties if they apply
  • Get vehicle approval to prove your vehicle meets safety and environmental standards. 
  • Register and tax the vehicle  (using a V55 and V267 form) with the DVLA

What is the secure foreign vehicle registration scheme?

The secure foreign vehicle registration scheme is a DVLA scheme to register imported vehicles used by organizations.

If the business you work for has been granted permission to use this scheme, some of the documents required for the non-secure scheme are no longer required.

Instead, complete the registration process by transferring data from one of the following documents to form the V55/1 or V55/2 registration certificate:

  • A European Community whole vehicle Type Approval Certificate
  • A National Small Series Type Approval Certificate
  • A Goods Vehicle National Type Approval Certificate

You can register your vehicle by sending the following documents to the DVLA address :

  • a completed V55/1 or V55/2 form
  • the registration duty and the taxation duty fees of a vehicle

The DVLA address for sending your registration application is:



SA99 1BE

For obtaining a V55 / 1 or V55 / 2 form, contact one of the following industry associations:

  • Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders
  • MotorCycle Industry Association UK
  • Agricultural Engineers Association UK

Or write to:

The Requisition Section Stores

D Basement




What is the Notification of Vehicles Arrival service (NOVA)?

The Notification of Vehicles Arrival service is used to report the entry of a foreign vehicle into the UK. You should use the NOVA service to notify HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) that you have brought a vehicle into the UK.

You can use the service if:

  • You are a business subject to VAT and do not use the secure registration system
  • You are not subject to VAT and have imported a vehicle into Northern Ireland from the EU
  • You are not subject to VAT and have imported a vehicle from Ireland with deferred registration

To use this service, you need to register for a Government Gateway user ID and its password. 

After setting up a NOVA arrival notification, you will get regular updates from HMRC in your secure communication area.

You don’t need to complete a notification if any of the following the following applies to you:

  • Your vehicle has an engine displacement below 49cc. Also if you have an Electric Vehicle using less than 7.3 kilowatts of power
  •  you are bringing a vehicle to the UK only temporarily, or no more than 6 months in any 12 month period.

With the completed form we can evaluate if any VAT is due and, in this case, make sure it is paid and accounted for

A separate form is required for each vehicle report.

If you are:

  • An agent filling in a notification on behalf of a VAT number registered business
  •  a person filling in a notification on behalf of a business without VAT registration or on behalf of a private individual.

In the form you need to fill in notifier details and buyer details business which is unregistered for VAT purposes.

How do I register my diplomatic foreign vehicle in the UK?

As part of the diplomatic registration process, you must register your vehicle with DVLA. We give each vehicle a unique vehicle plate that identifies it as a diplomatic vehicle. This unique diplomatic registration number identifies the embassy or international organization.

Once your vehicle has a diplomatic license plate number, we will make sure the license plates are made and sent to your diplomatic mission

The license plate remains there owned by the Undersecretary of State for Transport. When we have all the complete details of the vehicle and its owner a diplomatic  “Vehicle Registration Document” (V117) will be issued to the registered keeper. This V117 document is proof of the vehicle’s diplomatic registration


Your plates must be returned to DVLA if you dispose of your vehicle during your appointment or at the end of your appointment

The V117 Diplomatic Vehicle Registration Document:

  •  Indicates the name and address of the holder
  •  Displays vehicle details and registration number
  •  must be replaced if your details change
  • Provides a facility to report disposal (sold, exported, scrapped).

You must ensure that all details about your V117 are correct. If your situation or the diplomat’s contact details change the registration document is incorrect, you must return it to the DVLA immediately with the changes displayed. 

You will then be sent a new registration document.

What you need to do will depend on whether the vehicle is new or used. In both cases, the relevant documents must bear the name of the person or international mission / organization guarding the vehicle. If your vehicle is not eligible to be registered with diplomacy and the consular vehicle system, it needs to be registered in the UK registration system

For registering a diplomatic foreign vehicle, the following criteria need to be fulfilled:

  • You must have completed Form 1. This is used to notify DMIOU of your appointment.
  •  DMIOU must have authorized the appointment to DVLA in advance
  • You must provide your full name
  • Do not enter more than one person as the registered keeper of the vehicle. 
  •  The vehicle must be in the UK before being registered.
  •  You must specify if the vehicle requires a non-standard size registration plate.

If you buy a new vehicle from a car dealership, this will usually be the case. Register the vehicle in your name with a “application for first Motor vehicle tax and registration of a new motor vehicle” (V55/1).

Buying a brand new vehicle from outside the UK

If you are purchasing a foreign vehicle and want to get it registered, send DVLA a ‘V55 / 4 form. This deals with the first taxation of a vehicle and with its registration.

You must also attach all the supporting documents including:

  •  Application form V55 / 4
  •  A Declaration of Newness form (V267) from
  • A temporary foreign registration certificate (if applicable)
  • A certificate of insurance for the vehicle
  • A vehicle Approval Certificate
  • The vehicle’s entry on NOVA system 
  •  Original vehicle invoice indicating the date of purchase of the vehicle
  •  Approval test or type test certification

You must then submit your request and support documents to the Specialist Registration Team


This blog post addressed the question “How do I register a foreign vehicle in the UK?”A foreign vehicle is registered with some of the requirements needed for domestic vehicles  The vehicle’s original foreign registration certificate, confirmation of your vehicle’s arrival (NOVA), vehicle tax fee of £55 and a V267 certificate are the additional documents required for registration (in the UK)

Please feel free to comment on the content or ask any questions in the comments section below :

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) :How Do I Register a Foreign Vehicle in the UK? 

Is imported car insurance more expensive?

Insurers should be careful in insuring imported cars as most imported cars do not meet EU standards. Car insurers raise interest rates on such imports by the DVLA. 

 Insurance premiums may vary depending on the origin of the vehicle and the type of importation, there are different types of importation to take into account…

Vehicles that are not as accessible compared to standard UK car brands generally fail to meet EU benchmarks. The most common cars on the import gray market are US and Japanese cars. Imported gray vehicles are the most difficult to insure and are expensive to repair because spare parts are hard to find. They are rare so they are also high priority targets for carjackers. 

Parallel imports are vehicles that also have a comparable UK model. These vehicles are usually imported from the EU, so complying with UK regulations, the impact on insurance rates is negligible. You may have non-standard specifications that cause insurance agencies to exceed their base rates.

Personal imported vehicles

A dealership allows you to import an officially advertised vehicle on your personal behalf from a foreign country. Regardless of whether it’s a “gray import” or a “parallel import”. You are responsible for registering, taxing and insuring the vehicle before bringing it on the road.

If you are not a UK resident and want to transport a vehicle to the UK for travel use as you study or reside in the country.. You must tell your insurance agent if your vehicle is an imported model if you are unsure, check the foreign vehicle’s V5 file to find out where it came from.

Under What Conditions Can A Rebuilt Vehicle be allowed to keep its original registration number?

A rebuilt vehicle can be allowed to keep its original registration number if you are able to provide the DVLA with the following verifications (about the reconstruction of your vehicle):

  • You have reused the original (unaltered) chassis in your reconstruction
  • You are using a brand new chassis (or a chassis and body combination) for reconstructing the vehicle but it has the same specifications as the original one.
  • You also need to include 2 main components of the vehicle that was rebuilt which can be the suspension, engine, car transmission system, axles, and steering gear assembly

In case you are not eligible to keep the vehicle’s previous registration number after being modified, you can also consider making an application for a Q registration number.

Can I check Japanese vehicle imports for registration?

Yes, if you have the vehicle’s VIN or chassis number you can check your Japanese vehicle imports for registration. This registration number can be verified on the CarVX Japanese Car Check page.

All you need to do is enter the Japanese import frame number (VIN) you want to check

Japan actually uses a chassis number instead of the usual VIN number system . This number can be between nine and twelve alphanumeric characters( identifying the model and serial number.)


Vehicle Excise And Registration Act 1994 Section 8 Vehicles Removed into UK

Motor Vehicles (Approval) Regulations 2001