How To Change The Ownership Of A Vehicle Online

Once you’ve sold a vehicle, you’ll want to transfer the ownership as soon as possible and you can do so online by completing a form on the DVLA website. It takes just a few minutes to complete and within this article, we walk you through the entire process.

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After you’ve sold your car, the process of changing the ownership can be a daunting prospect. Luckily, the days of endless paperwork is over and you can now change ownership of a vehicle online in a matter of minutes.

According to the DVLA, there have been over 40 million transactions since the online service was launched in 2015. We’ve personally used it ourselves on multiple occasions and we highly recommend it to anyone selling their car.

Due to the amount of transactions, it’s clear to see that the online service by the DVLA has proven to be very successful and below we walk you through everything you need to know.

What You’ll Need

Apart from not requiring a pen, envelope and stamp, you’ll need the same as you normally would when transferring ownership of car online, which includes:

  • The 11 digit reference number from the car’s latest logbook
  • The new owners details (name, address and e-mail)

Regarding the owners details, the e-mail address is optional and it’ll only be used to provide the owner (and seller) with confirmation that the change of ownership has been successful.

How To Transfer A Car’s Ownership Online

If you’ve sold your car, you can proceed to completing the transfer of ownership online as shown below:

  1. Visit the DVLA website (
  2. Click “Start Now” and state that you aren’t a “Motor Trader”.
  3. Tell the DVLA that you sold the car (select the “Sold it” option).
  4. Tell the DVLA if you sold the car privately or to a trader.
  5. Enter the car’s registration number and latest V5C document reference number (11 digit number at the front).
  6. Ask the buyer if they want confirmation of the sale (if they do, fill out their email address).
  7. Ask the buyer for their name and address to complete the next section of the form.
  8. Verify the details of the buyer and proceed to transfer the car’s ownership.
  9. Tear off the green “new keeper” slip from the logbook and give it to the buyer.
  10. Check your email address for confirmation of the change of ownership.

Changing ownership of your vehicle online is really that simple and after you’ve done it once, you probably won’t want to do it by post ever again. It’s important to note that you can also use this online service for putting your car’s ownership into someone else’s name, declaring it as written off and also informing the DVLA when you come to scrap your car.

After completing the change of ownership online, the buyer should receive their logbook within 5 to 7 working days. However, as the seller, you should receive a confirmation letter from the DVLA and any full months of tax remaining on the car will automatically be refunded to you via a cheque in the post.

Benefits of Changing Ownership Online

  • Multiple verification stages to eliminate mistakes
  • Forms are very easy to complete
  • Instant change of ownership with e-mail confirmation
  • Doesn’t require a pen, envelope or stamp
  • Any mistakes made won’t result in scribbles in the logbook
  • Less work for the DVLA (i.e. they don’t need to try and work out illegible handwriting)
  • It can’t get lost in the post

Drawbacks of Changing Ownership Online

  • You won’t be able to transfer ownership of your car without the 11 digit reference number from the logbook
  • It requires an internet connection to gain access to the online service
  • The online service is only available between 7AM and 7PM
  • Some people may refuse the online service because they prefer the “old fashioned” method via post


If you planning to sell your car privately in the next few days and wondering how to change the ownership of the vehicle, we highly recommend doing it online. As you can see from the 10 steps listed above, it’s really easy to do and it also comes with many benefits. With regards to the negatives, they are very minor and as long as you have the V5, an internet connection and you aren’t selling a car late at night, there is no need to use the old fashioned postal method.

If you require further information with regards to changing ownership of a vehicle online, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.

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