Importing Cars From The USA – Part 2 (DVLA Registration)

I will try to provide you with all the links, screenshots and relevant contact details where I can, some departments were more helpful than others should I say. Details correct as of Feb 2016.

The whole process for me had two sections:

Part 1 – The NOVA form (Notification Of Vehicle Arrival) = Paying the Import and Tax Duties. Click here for the link.

Part 2 – DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) = Registering the vehicle for the UK. (This section).

Each section I will try pull the relevant information for the words on the web pages. If you DO NOT  have a NOVA declaration certificate then you need to go through Part 1 – The NOVA form


DVLA are responsible for registration of vehicles and drivers. They also control the MOT and Road Tax.

NOTE: This department has to be the worst department I have ever had the displeasure of dealing with. I strongly advise that you take copies of EVERYTHING and only send documents to DVLA via “Special” or “Recorded Delivery”. I had to make endless phone calls to these people to sort this out due to their incompetence.

Once you have the critical NOVA certificate you can apply to register your vehicle with the DVLA. Now some of the forms are available on-line and a lot of them you have to request the documents to be sent to you.

The form you need is the V355/5 (the actual form says V55/5) which has to be ordered from here and sent to your address:

v55 link

There is a guide to filling in the form on the link above. The form itself is two pages only with a third for carbon copy purposes.

Here I have filled in some dummy details on the form to give you an idea of what is required. You will note that my first attempt was rejected because question “5 Manufacturer” I put Ford. This was wrong according to them, and they arrowed the Ford as “6 Make” and sent the form back to me for that. This department is so picky and unhelpful you need to get this right. I ordered a couple of copies of this V55/5 form just in case they moan about something you have a spare ready

This form will also get you the relevant Road Tax that will need to be paid for based on the age of your vehicle.

There is a “Registration Fee” of £55.00 for my first application of Registration but the Road Tax is free for my vehicle.

For any dimensions, weights or specific details for your car I would suggest a Google and replace the details I have used.

V55 reg Front

The reverse of this page has more personal details for the owner of the vehicle. this form speaks for itself and section “50” will be your own reason for registration depending on age etc.

V55 Reg back

The form will ask you to enclose the relevant documents and you should tick the boxes. You need to send in the ORIGINALS of the documents and a cheque for the payment, they won’t take payment over the phone. For this part of the process I enclosed a covering letter to say that I wanted all the original documents sent back to me. The sent me back a photocopy of the original USA owners document. 🙁

Remember – send all these documents recorded delivery/special delivery so they don’t get “lost”.

Once this has been completed and signed of by the department a v5 Registration document will be sent to you along with a DVLA Headed Paper to confirm your allocated Registration Plate details. This letter will allow you to order your number plates from an approved supplier using the unique code allocated to you.

With all that complete you will receive the new V5 registration document to say that the vehicle is now registered in your name with the allocated registration number.

V5 F-edit

I hope that helps with the registration of your imported car.



I will take no responsibility for using my guide set out below or be liable for any damages / loss as a result of using this guide. Please use your judgement and follow the procedures as required by the agencies involved and by law. All details have been changed for documentation purposes or removed for obvious reasons as this is a guide only.

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