Oh my god, we are finally road legal!
I am quite missing writing about our progress with Max. It seems like we're moving quite quickly with new purchases, plans and the whole van is coming to life - and I'm not allowed to talk about it!
One thing I can talk about though is getting it registered for the first time in the UK. I'll be honest, I haven't done this previously because the paperwork, finding someone willing to MOT it and multiple phone calls to the DVLA and DVSA had put me off. Then on 20 May 2018, the glorious news arrived that classic vehicles over the age of 40 years old no longer needed an MOT. Previously, the rule was that any vehicle first registered before 1960 did not need to be registered. - and so with that, Max was set.
I requested a V55/5 (application for first vehicle tax and registration of a used motor vehicle) form from the DVLA (twice, because the first time I put my name in the wrong box) and then searched the internet to help me fill in this awfully and unnecessarily complex registration form. Honestly, I can see why the previous owners didn't bother at all - it's frightening and confusing, and of course, all contact with the DVLA leaves you even more confused.
Thankfully, the Vintage Hod Rod Association were my knights in shining armour and offered very clear and concise instructions on how to fill it in. For those of you who are in the stage of registering an import or a vintage vehicle, I would recommend you give their comprehensive blog post a read, but in short, here is which bits you need to fill in on that dreaded form:
Starting from the top left of the form, working your way through the numbers. It makes much more sense with the V55/5 in front of you. I've filled in the less obvious answers as we did for Max..
3) 12 months.
6) The make of vehicle: Daimler-Benz
7) The model of vehicle: LF408G
8) Bodystyle: I struggled with this one, so ended up calling up the DVLA. We ended up agreeing that the body style was 'truck'.
9) 2 axle rigid.
10) The colour of your vehicle.
18) The number of places there are to sit: I put two - meaning the driver's seat and the front passenger seat, as I had previously ripped out the crew cabin that seated a further eight people.
27) Year of manufacture as noted on the dating letter supplied by the owners club: Thankfully, we didn't have to get a letter supplied by the Mercedes Owners Club (they suggested we go directly to Mercedes Benz in Germany, who - after 18 long months - still haven't replied). All previous owners of Max had taken good care of her and kept all documentation in one safe place. We actually had the original German registration certificate!
When you come back to the top of the page, there are a couple of boxes without numbers. One is the country the vehicle came from, the other is a LHD/RHD selection. Be sure to fill these in.
29) Date for tax to start, usually the first of the month, either the current month or the following one.
30) Fuel type, petrol, diesel, etc.
31) Chassis number, again as confirmed on the dating letter.
32) Engine number, don’t worry if you don’t have one, it’s not essential. If it’s there it must be included.
33) Engine size in cc’s. The DVLA do like the figure to be accurate, not rounded up or down.
45) if the title only shows a year, put it as 01/01/year, otherwise put the date in full.
46) same date as box 29.
Turn the page…
49) Name and address.
50) Date of birth.
51) Write “Exempt due to age”.
55) Optional, but it won’t hurt to put the mileage.
Then the declaration at the bottom, which needs to be signed and dated.
I sent it off, along with correct fee, original registration documents (which sadly, aren't returned) and the following covering letter:
Sure enough, less than two weeks later, I received a confirmation from the DVLA and two days later a V5C. Max is officially registered in the UK for the first time ever!
I made a prompt phonecall to Jepsons: a classic number plate supplier based in Sheffield. And... voila!
Note: I am very aware that we will have to reclassify Max once the conversion is done. Currently, she's registered with the DVLA as a truck and we want her to be down as a campervan. It is a task for another day, for sure! For now, I'm just pleased she's able to be on the road - it means we can now take her places for work to be done, instead of trying to find mobile people to come work on her on our drive! Yay.