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Vehicle identity check (VIC)

Vehicle crime is a serious problem. It costs the economy an estimated £3bn a year and affects motorists directly by raising insurance premiums. One aspect of vehicle crime is car ‘ringing’ which involves passing off stolen cars as repaired, accident-damaged cars.

A Vehicle Identity Check (VIC) marker

The VIC scheme has been introduced to help reduce vehicle crime. It is intended to discourage criminals from disguising stolen cars with the identity of written off or scrapped vehicles.

When an insurance company writes off a car within salvage categories A, B or C, the registration certificate (V5C document) is surrendered to them at the time of a claim being made and destroyed by them.

The insurance company will then notify the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency, Swansea (DVLA) that the vehicle has been written off and this will set a marker on the vehicle record. If a vehicle is subsequently repaired with the intention of returning the vehicle to the road, DVLA will not issue a new registration document or vehicle excise duty license until the car passes a VIC.

The VIC is designed to help confirm that the vehicle being returned to the road is what it purports to be and not a stolen or substitute vehicle.

Confirming if a VIC marker is set on a record

When an application for licensing and registration is made to DVLA, they will confirm whether a VIC is required or not. If it is, a VIC application can then be submitted. The current cost of a VIC test is £41. The vehicle registration mark must be known in order for an application to be accepted.

Checking a vehicle's identity

DVA carry out VIC tests on behalf of DVLA at their test centres in Lisburn and Londonderry. As part of the identification process there are a number of sources of information that can be used to enable the individual carrying out the check to obtain an understanding of the history of the vehicle.

Comparing the vehicle presented against information held by DVLA Swansea, such as the vehicle identification number, make, model, colour, and engine number as well as any records of previous accident damage through evidence of damage repair and checking other components to confirm the age and identity of the vehicle allows for a more positive identification.

After examining the vehicle the inspector will make a decision to either pass or fail it, based on the apparent authenticity of the stamped-in vehicle identification mark and other corroborating evidence.

Once a car has passed a VIC, the V5C issued will be annotated to show 'substantially repaired' or 'accident damaged’; and ‘identity checked on dd/mm/yyyy'.

How to book

You must apply to DVA with a completed application form and fee before the check can take place. Application forms are available from any of the DVA Test Centres.

You can change your appointment with no loss of fee, or cancel and get a full refund, provided you give three clear working day's notice.

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