DVLA's V5 document warning

* Used buyers told to be be careful * Destroyed documents 'stolen' * How to spot a fake document...

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Jim Holder
20 August 2008

DVLA's V5 document warning

The DVLA has released another warning about stolen V5 paperwork, stressing the importance of inspecting the documents of any potential used buy carefully.

This latest warning concerns logbooks numbered BG8229501 to BG9999030 and B12305501 to B12800000. The serial number is located in the top left of the document and buyers should immediately contact the DVLA if they see an affected logbook.

There have been a series of warnings from the DVLA over the past 18 months, all stemming from a single incident in 2006.

A batch of faulty V5s were sent for secure destruction, and were thought to have been correctly disposed of by an external company. However, 704 have resurfaced, and been reported as stolen.

Such authentic-looking V5 paperwork makes it relatively easy for criminals to clone the identity of genuine cars and give them to stolen cars

These cloned cars are also tricky to spot because, even if a buyer gets a vehicle history check, its the genuine cars details that are investigated.

The DVLA says it has changed its internal processes so that this kind of mistake cannot happen again.

A spokesman said: 'We are confident that the vast majority of 'missing' certificates were destroyed, but given that a further recent missing certificate was presented, we took the view that it would be in the public interest to publish all potentially compromised serial numbers.'

How to spot a fake V5 document
• Check if the serial number is in the affected range.
• Make sure the V5s details exactly match those of the car youre buying, including colour, Vehicle Identification Number, make and model.
• Check youre buying from the registered keeper on the V5 and that youre buying from their address.
• Call the DVLA on 0870 241 1878 to check the validity of any V5 document before you buy.