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Vehicle Identity Checks (VIC)



Below are a number of FAQ’s that DVTA receive regarding the Vehicle Identity Check (VIC) MOT.

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
Customer Enquiries on 0870 240 0010

Driver & Vehicle Licensing Northern Ireland
Vehicle Enquiries: 028 7034 1461

What is VIC and why is it being introduced?

VIC is being introduced to help reduce vehicle crime. It will deter criminals from disguising stolen cars with the identity of written off or scrapped ones. When a car is written off by an insurance company or is declared scrapped by its owner, the registration document (V5 logbook) is surrendered to DVLA. If a vehicle is subsequently repaired with the intention of returning the vehicle to the road, DVLA will not issue a new registration document or vehicle excise duty license until the car passes a VIC. The check is designed to help confirm that the vehicle being returned to the road has been repaired following accident damage and has not been stolen.

When is VIC being introduced?

7th April 2003

Will vehicles written off before 7th April still require a VIC if they are returned to the road after the scheme is introduced?

No. VIC is only applicable to vehicles notified to DVLA as written off or scrapped after 7th April.

What vehicles will be affected?

From 7th April all cars that are written off by an insurance company (as Category A,B or C) or declared scrapped by their owner due to accident damage will have to be notified to Driver and Vehicle Licensing as such. DVLA will hold a record of all vehicles that require a VIC; you cannot volunteer your vehicle for one.

Do written off vehicles 'category D' require a VIC?


Is there an information leaflet available?

Yes, there is an information leaflet available called 'Vehicle Identity Check - Tackling Vehicle Crime'. Two further leaflets are planned :-

VIC51 - 'Bringing your vehicle to a Vehicle Identity Check'
VIC52 - 'What to do after a VIC'

What does the check involve?

The check will be carried out by the Driver & Vehicle Testing Agency and it will involve comparing the vehicle presented against information held by Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), such as the vehicle identification number, make, model, colour and engine number. The check will also compare the record of previous accident damage with evidence of damage repair. Other components may also be checked to confirm the age and identity of the car.

Must repairs be carried out first?

Yes. Sufficient repairs must be carried out to support the intention of returning the vehicle to a roadworthy condition. The vehicle must be capable of being driven under its own power and should not be potentially hazardous to any person carrying out the check.

Does a vehicle require an MOT before a VIC can be carried out?

If a vehicle over 4 years old is driven to the Driver & Vehicle Testing Agency Test Centre for the check, it must have a current MOT.

Will the check confirm that the vehicle is roadworthy?

No. However if any mechanical defects that would make the vehicle unsafe to drive away are identified, the vehicle may be prohibited from being used.

Will the check endorse the quality of any repair work?


Can the Driver & Vehicle Testing Agency refuse to carry out the check?

Yes. DVTA reserves this right. Possible reason(s) for refusal are: -

The vehicle did not arrive for the check at the appointed time or place.
The relevant fee has not been paid subject to the payment conditions stated on the application form.
The vehicle emits substantial quantities of avoidable smoke.
The vehicle or any part of it is so dirty that carrying out the check is unreasonably difficult.
The vehicle or its contents is in such a condition that a meaningful check would involve danger to a person, or damage to the vehicle or any other property, or that current health and safety legislation cannot be followed.
Sufficient repairs have not been carried out to support the intention of returning the vehicle to a roadworthy condition.
A door, tailgate, boot lid, engine cover, fuel cap, floor covering or other device, capable of being opened or accessed was locked or fixed so that a thorough check could not be carried out.
The check could not be completed due to a lack of fuel or oil, component failure, or for any other reason that would make completion unreasonably difficult or unsafe.
The conduct of the presenter was considered to be unreasonable.
The presenter refused to or was unable to comply with the instructions given.

How long will the VIC take to carry out?

The check will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.

What will happen at the test centre?

Full details of what to do at the test centre will be given when an appointment is made. On arrival at the test centre you will need to report to the reception desk and hand over the vehicle keys. You will need to remain in the reception area whilst a trained examiner carries out the Vehicle Identity Check. Following the check, you will be informed of the result and any necessary documents issued to you along with your vehicle's keys.

Where do I apply for a VIC?

How much is the fee?

The fee is currently set at £26.50

Can the application be faxed or e-mailed?


What information is requested on the application form?

The vehicle registration mark (VRM), chassis number / VIN, make, model, colour and engine number. All applications must be submitted under a VRM. The applicant is also requested to provide an address where the vehicle is kept and also to supply any information or evidence in support of the application.

Can VIC be block-booked?

No. DVTA requires advance notice of individual vehicles that require a check. They must also receive the application form and fee in advance to allow enough time for certain pre-checks to be made against DVLA's records. As a result block-bookings are not possible.

What are the VIC test centres opening hours?

Vehicle Identity Checks will be available between 8.45am and 4.55 pm Monday to Friday.

Do I have to go to the nearest test centre where a VIC is available?

No. When an application is made you can state where you would like the check to be conducted.

Can someone else present the vehicle on my behalf?


Is there a time frame in which to apply for a VIC?

No. However please remember that unless a vehicle is registered and licensed by Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) it must not be used or kept on public roads.

Will I get a refund if I cancel my VIC appointment?

Your fee will be refunded provided at least one clear days notice is given before the test date. This excludes weekends, holidays, the day notice of cancellation is received and the date of the test. For example, if you wish to cancel an appointment for a Wednesday, notice of cancellation must be given by the previous Monday.

If you wish to move an appointment to a later date then please contact the appropriate DVTA Test Centre as early as possible. You will have to pay for another appointment if less than one clear days notice is given.

Do I need insurance to take the vehicle for a VIC?

Yes. Please ensure that the person driving the car to the test centre is insured to do so.

Is road tax needed to drive a vehicle to a VIC?


Must the vehicle presented have number plates?

No. However the registration mark must be known and declared when the VIC application is submitted. Also without number plates the vehicle cannot be driven to the VIC.

Can vehicles be taken to a VIC on a trailer or recovery vehicle?


Can a vehicle be dropped off at a test centre and collected later in the day?


What do I do if my vehicle passes the check?

You can apply to Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) for a registration document by completing form V34 which is available from any DVLA Local Office or Post Office.

Will I be given any documentation to confirm the result of the check?

A pass certificate will be issued if a vehicle passes the check. If a vehicle fails, a failure notice will be issued which will provide a reason why the vehicle has failed the check. An electronic notification of the result will also be forwarded to Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) where it will be stored on a central database.

Do I need to present the pass certificate to Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) when applying for a registration document?


Can DVTA issue a replacement certificate?

Yes. A fee will be charged for this service in line with the charge for other replacement documents.

If my vehicle passes the check, does this guarantee that the vehicle is genuine?

The outcome is based upon evidence collected by the Driver & Vehicle Testing Agency within the scope of the check. If at the time of the check the vehicle is believed to be genuine, then a pass certificate will be issued. This does not guarantee that the vehicle is genuine, it indicates that the checks carried out have not revealed evidence that the vehicle is not genuine.

Will the registration document show any indication that the vehicle has been written off or damaged?

Yes. It will be noted as "Accident damaged and/or substantially repaired; identity checked on dd/mm/yyyy".

What will happen if my vehicle fails the check?

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will not issue a registration document and you will be unable to licence the vehicle and DVLA will investigate further. If discrepancies cannot be resolved Local Police Forces will be notified and may investigate further. For failures where fraud or criminal activity is suspected, Local Police Forces will be notified immediately.

If my vehicle fails will I still be expected to pay the fee?

Yes. The fee is required in advance of the check being carried out and will not be reimbursed should your vehicle fail the check.

If I disagree with the VIC result, can I make an appeal against the decision?

Yes. An application can be made to the Driver & Vehicle Testing Agency stating the reason for the appeal. A fee of £26.50 will be payable. An appeal against a failure decision must be made within 28 days of the original check being carried out. However, if you believe a vehicle has incorrectly passed a VIC, then the appeal must be made within 28 days of the registration document being issued. If an appeal is upheld, then a full refund of the appeal fee will be made.

If I purchase a vehicle with a VIC pass certificate, how can I tell if it is genuine?

Although the Driver & Vehicle Testing Agency issues a certificate at the time of the check, it should not be relied upon as evidence that a vehicle has passed a VIC. If you are offered a pass certificate as proof, you should contact the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) on the telephone number printed on the certificate. They can check the stored record and advise you whether the vehicle quoted has actually passed a VIC.

Who can I contact for further information?

Please contact: -

Driver & Vehicle Licensing Northern Ireland
Vehicle Enquiries: 028 7034 1461

Vehicle Inspectorate
National number on 0870 6060 440

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
Customer Enquiries on 0870 240 0010