Motor Vehicle Records old

What sort of records do we have?

When the Local Taxation Offices were closed in 1977/8 on completion of computerization of the registration system, their vehicle records were offered to the appropriate local record office or police force. In many cases the records were declined and it is these records which are now held at The Kithead Trust supplemented by others which have since been deposited by police forces or by DVLA.

Owing to the sheer volume involved, it was in most cases only possible to retain records in respect of vehicles first registered before about 1948 but there are one or two exceptions, usually where the records are in book form. The vast majority of records are in the form of an index card for each vehicle. These may give details of the vehicle when new or, more usually, as with the final registered owner. It is extremely rare for details of intermediate owners to be shown.

In many cases the information will simply be a transfer card indicating movement from one registration authority to another; in such cases often it is only the make which is given and sometimes not even that.

There is a considerable variation between differing registration authorities as to the amount of information which they recorded in respect of “void” marks and the date when the vehicle was last licensed also affects the position. Before 1939, details are often sparse because the actual files were at that time retained whilst after about 1970 entering of last owner details was entirely discontinued.

What areas do we have and who else has this kind of information?

Click on Trace a Registration Mark to see a list of our holdings and all other locations of motor taxation records known to us, giving brief details of the range of records held. Please note that it is impossible for us to help if you do not know the registration mark. If in doubt check with Location List as we cannot help if the information is held in some other archive.

How we work

Although the cards which the Trust holds relate to only a very small percentage of the vehicles which have existed, it is nevertheless estimated that we hold well in excess of two million records and whilst we are happy to provide such information as we can, there is a considerable time involved in locating and extracting details. The Trust is not publicly funded in any way and relies entirely upon its users and supporters to cover its operational costs.

This is how we work and our scale of charges:

  1. All motor taxation enquiries should be made in writing, and be accompanied by a fee of £10 for each registration mark, together with a stamped addressed envelope. Cheques should be made payable to “Kithead Trust”.
  2. If we know that we cannot assist then your fee will be returned to you and we will let you know whether any other repository is likely to be able to help.
  3. If the registration mark is one for which we may have records, then we will undertake a search and let you know the result.
  4. If the result of the search is negative, for example there is a missing index card or there is no information on the card, then we will advise you of this. In this circumstance, we will have carried out a search and so the fee cannot be returned.

Regaining a lost mark

Only a minority of our records, usually those which include a chassis or frame number, have sufficient information for DVLA purposes.

If you are trying to regain a lost mark, we recommend that you make a preliminary enquiry with the standard search fee of £10 but inform us of the object of your enquiry and provide us with as many details of the vehicle as possible, including the chassis or frame number.

When we respond, we will indicate whether there is sufficient detail in our records to provide a unique match with your vehicle. If there is we will offer to provide a certified copy at a further fee of £30. If you accept this offer and send us the necessary remittance, we will send you two certified true copies of the document we hold, one for DVLA and one for you to retain. Such certificates are normally accepted by DVLA in cases where original marks are sought to be kept or re-gained.