Q Plates & VINs Explained

DVLA issues their own 17 digit replacement VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and/or  ‘Q’ registration numbers to vehicles whose age or identity is in doubt. If this happens, any original vehicle registration number will become invalid and you must not display it again. To get a ‘Q’ registration number, your vehicle has to pass a type approval process.

V55/5 Simple Guide

An age-related VRN and 17 digit replacement VIN will be applied to Reconstructed Classics, some types of Radically Altered Vehicles and some types of Kit Built Vehicles (Mixed Origin & Ages) and Kit Converted Vehicles. The original or age-related VRN may be used alongside the original VIN if the vehicles qualifies under the DVLA points system.

Q Plate Registration

A Q plate will be applied to vehicles built up with a variety of major components from different vehicles and that fail to qualify under the DVLA points system used for Radically Altered Vehicles or Kit Built Vehicles


the relevant criteria outlined for Rebuilt & Restored Vehicles.

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

All vehicles registered in the UK must have a unique, stamped-in vehicle identification number (VIN) and registration number.

Find your VIN

The VIN is usually stamped into the chassis of the vehicle. It may be lost if you rebuild or modify your vehicle.

When you may need a new VIN or registration

If you have a kit car, rebuild, or radically altered vehicle, DVLA will usually have to assess it.

You may be able to keep its original registration number if you can prove the vehicle’s original VIN. If you cannot, you’ll have to apply for a replacement identity number.

DVLA will give you an authorisation letter to get the vehicle stamped with the new VIN if your vehicle passes its assessment.

You then need to register the vehicle - you can only do this when DVLA receives confirmation it’s been stamped with the correct VIN.

A vehicle assigned a Q plate will also need to go through a Basic Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) scheme.

Basic IVA

Basic IVA involves a visual inspection and other tests to make sure the vehicle meets the necessary standards. You will not normally need to provide any documentary evidence. Read the guide here.