Importing and Registering a Classic American car can come with a number of stresses and many people will complain bitterly of the process…
But with all that said it really is a simple principle. Make sure the paperwork is in order and don’t deviate or expect leniency and you will succeed! Once your vehicle has arrived, cleared customs and HMRC have issued the NOVA or notice of vehicle arrival you are pretty much ready to roll with the rest. Your customs broker or shipping line will have handled all of this most probably for you so getting the NOVA is just a formality and a little bit of time. What comes next is where you have the most influence. Being a classic over 10 years old there is no need for IVA with VOSA or mutual recognition with VCA which is good. If your American car import is under 40 years old you will need an MOT so you may have some work to get this road legal before getting the certificate but lets assume you get the MOT in hand which will be done on the VIN or chassis number.
Next, you will need to ensure that you american car import comes with a registration document or Title as the American’s call them. This gives the VIN, the engine size and the date of original registration. This has to be supplied in original (no photocopies) format to DVLA without it they can’t proceed. If you don’t have one then you are going to need a dating letter from one of the DVLA approved car owners clubs along with we suggest a covering letter from you as to why you haven’t got the title document. The clubs provide the dating letters and usually charge a fee for it. This works in lieu of the registration document. Without either you’re on a fast track to a dateless Q plate!
From there you will need to download the DVLA’s V55/5 form and start to complete it. Most spec details are either on the title or found online. Emissions details don’t exist but aren’t needed for this. Package this form up with the MOT if needed, original title, insurance certificate, payment for first reg fee and road tax, a copy of your driving licence and send it off. It sounds simple here, and it is, assuming you do the paperwork and provide