Car tax is mandatory for all vehicle owners in the UK and without your V5C/2 reference number, you may find it difficult to pay your car tax on time. Through this blog post, we will discuss the reasons why a V5C/2 reference number would not be recognised on the DVLA system; preventing car owners from paying their car tax on time. We will also explore the methods of paying for your car tax, the documents that you require as well as how to tax a newly purchased car from a dealer.

Why Is My V5C/2 Reference Number Not Recognised?

If the V5C/2 reference number is not being recognised by the system and you are unable to pay your car tax, it may be due to any of the following reasons: 

  • the reference number is invalid 
  • a new V5C/2 has been issued to you by the DVLA but you have not received it yet
  • transfer of ownership and registration details of the car

Most of the time, the system does not recognise a V5C/2 number due to a renewal in process especailly if you have recently purchased a vehicle (whether new or used) and you might need to wait a few days to try again with the new V5C/2 number. However, if the delay might cause your car tax payment deadline to be missed, you should get in touch with the Driver and License Agency and seek their advice on the matter.

The V5C2 reference number is a 12 digit numeral that appears on the green slip that is handed over to new owners of vehicles. You can either be purchasing a brand new car or simply being transferred ownership from a previous owner while buying a used car. In both these cases, the green slip or V5C2 indicates a transfer of ownership and serves as proof of your ownership of the car.

You can use the 12 digit number that appears on your green slip (also termed as your V5C2 reference number) to pay your car tax while you are waiting for your car logbook to be renewed/transferred to your name.

You may only be able to pay your car tax only if the vehicle is registered in your name and you can provide any of the following documents to prove your ownership of the car:

  • your V11 reminder notice which states the vehicle owner’s name and the amount of car tax due for the next tax term
  • a V62 logbook application form which shows that you have applied for a V5 while the previous one has gone missing
  • a V5C/2 Green slip that is issued to new car owners while the ownership of their vehicle is transferred from the previous owner

When someone purchases a new vehicle, they must assure that they have been handed over the new owner’s greens slip or a tear-off of the V5C2 new keeper details to serve as proof of the ownership of the vehicle in use.

The DVLA will send you an email as soon as your vehicle has been registered in your name and a new vehicle logbook is posted to your address. It usually takes 2 to 4 weeks for a new V5C to be sent to new owners by the DVLA. if it takes more time than this, you can apply using a V62 form through your local post office.

How Long Does It Take For Car Tax To Show Online?

According to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), it can take up to 5 working days for renewed car tax to show online. Car tax payments can be made through local post offices registered to handle car tax services. You may use a debit card, credit card or direct debit facility to make your car tax payment(s).

To pay your car tax online from the post office, you will need the following documents;

  • Your V11 letter
  • An MOT test certificate
  • The amount of payment mentioned in the V11 letter

In the case of debit or credit payments, you will be charged an additional surcharge of 5 per cent; unless you pay the full amount of car tax on an annual basis in advance. The DVLA takes monthly payments for car tax on the first day of each month. However, car owners can choose to make car tax payments on a monthly or six-monthly basis.

Can I Tax My Car Without A Logbook?

Yes, you may be able to pay your car tax without a V5 (your car logbook) if the vehicle is registered in your name. 

If you have received a V11 reminder notice from the DVLA which states the vehicle owner’s name and the amount of car tax due for the next tax term, you can use it as proof of identification. If it is a new vehicle you will need a V5C/2 Green slip that is issued to new car owners while the ownership of their vehicle is transferred from the previous owner. However, if the car is not registered in your name, neither can you pay car tax, nor drive it on public roads.

In the permanent absence of a V5, your car will be declared as SORN; Statuary Off-Road Notification until the new logbook arrives which can take up to a few weeks’ time. You must apply for a V5 immediately for a fee of £25, in case you have not done so. Not carrying your logbook can lead to a penalty being charged by the DVLA.

Can I Tax My Car At The Post Office?

Yes, you can tax your car at the post office if the post office deals with car tax. The easiest and quickest modes of payment are using your credit or debit card or online transfer of funds through your bank account.

Car owners receive a reminder from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency around three weeks before their vehicle tax is about to expire. This is called a V11 reminder. This letter can be taken to the nearest local post office which has car tax facilities and used as a reference to pay your car tax. If a vehicle owner loses their V11 letter, they can use their 11 digit reference number from their logbook known as V5C.

If you have misplaced your V11 letter or your V5C, your car tax can still be renewed through the local post office. At this time, you should also apply for a new Registration Certificate using a V62 application form A for £25.

How Do I Tax A New Car From A Dealer?

When someone buys a new car through a car dealership, the dealer usually arranges for the car tax to be paid, manages the paperwork on behalf of the car owner and adds the vehicle registration fee of £55 to the price of the car. 

The reason why dealers make sure that car tax is being paid while making a purchase is to avoid any legal issues that the car owner might face when driving an untaxed car on public roads. 

In this case, the dealer will require the following information to proceed with car tax payments:

  • Name of the vehicle owner
  • Address of the vehicle owner
  • V5C/2 registration or New Keeper Supplement of the vehicle

How To Tax A Used Car From A Dealer?

When you purchase a car from a car dealer, they can and usually do make arrangements to have your car registered to your name and have the car tax paid. The amount paid for the car tax and any other registration fees incurred by them is added to the cost of the car and the final price quoted to you. If this is not the case, you can ask them to do so.

In the case of a second-hand car, the previous owner needs to add your name (and other details) to the “new keeper” section of the V5C and send it to the Drivers And Vehicles Licensing Agency. They will give you a green slip that you need to keep safe as it is the proof of your ownership of the car until the car log book certifies it through the DVLA. You can use the 12 digit number that appears on your green slip (also termed as your V5C2 reference number) to pay your car tax while you are waiting for your car logbook to be renewed/transferred to your name.

The DVLA will send you an email as soon as your vehicle has been registered in your name and a new vehicle logbook is posted to your address. It usually takes 2 to 4 weeks for a new V5C to be sent to new owners by the DVLA. if it takes more time than this, you can apply using a V62 form through your local post office.

Conclusion:

The facts entailed in this article make it clear that there are a handful of reasons why the V5C/2 reference number of your vehicle is not being recognised by the DVLA system as you attempt to pay your car tax. One of the most common reasons is that there has been a transfer of ownership due to which the reference number is being renewed. This makes the current one invalid and unacceptable on the system. If this is not the case and there is no typing error either, you may want to inform the DVLA and seek their support to sort out the matter before you miss the deaslline for your car tax payment.

FAQs: Why Is My V5C/2 Reference Number Not Recognised?

Does V5C/2 have a VIN number?

Yes, the V5C/2 does have a VIN  number. You can find this in the Vehicle Details box at the top of page 2 with a field marked ‘VIN/Chassis/Frame No.

Where can I find my V5C reference number?

Your V5C reference number is a 12 digit numeral printed on your vehicle logbook or V5C. If you have misplaced your vehicle logbook, you can also find this number in your V11 reminder for car tax payment. If you have misplaced this document as well, you will have to apply for a new V5C through your local post office by filling up a V62 form.

Where is the 12 digit reference number from the new keeper slip?

The 12 digit reference number from your new keeper slip is taken from the 11 digit reference number in your V5C or vehicle logbook. If you are unable to find it, you can contact the DVLA with your vehicle registration number, the vehicle make, model and colour, and your full name and address with a request to share access.

Where is my 16 digit reference number on my V5C?

You will find the 16 digit reference number on the right-hand side of your V5C. If a vehicle owner loses their V11 letter, they can use their 11 digit reference number from their V5C to pay their car tax.

How many digits does a V5C number have?

A V5C (Registration Certificate) number has 11 digits. If you have misplaced your V11 letter or your V5C, your car tax can still be renewed through the local post office. 

References: 

Car tax reference number

Cannot tax online with V5C/2 but not yet received a new V5C? – Page 1 – General Gassing – PistonHeads UK

Car V5C and Tax issue – help? – The Student Room

How To Tax Your New Car Online With Green Slip V5C/2 (2020) GOV.UK

Vehicle tax Direct Debit payments – GOV.UK.

Car road tax: your guide to Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) | Parkers

How do you tax a car you’ve just bought? – Confused.com

How do I transfer ownership and tax for a used car I’ve bought? | AutoTrader

Road tax rule changes – what do they mean for drivers?

Vehicle registration: New and used vehicles – GOV.UK

Vehicle registration: New registrations – GOV.UK

How To Tax A Second Hand Car Uk? – ictsd.org

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John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.