DVLA Swansea have launched a newer, new-style, new-look V5C registration document, together with a buyer beware initiative.

The new clearer and easy to understand vehicle Registration documents will be issued for all newly registered vehicles and when there are changes to an existing registration, such as a change of keeper or address and after our favourite cherished number plate transfers.

From the middle of 2011, the new certificate will be issued to all remaining vehicles when they are re-licensed or declared to be off the road or have a cherished transfer. The existing blue V5C will remain valid for these vehicles until it is replaced and DVLA Swansea registrations will not be asking for the old V5C number plate documents to be returned.

The revamped V5C car registration document, which is now coloured red, makes it clear that a registration certificate is not proof of ownership and also details where consumers can get advice on buying a used vehicle. Issued by DVLA as usual without any foreword or communication to the motoring industry, they are both very ugle and almost unprofessional looking documents.

The move comes after the theft of a number of V5C registration certificates in 2006 from DVLA, which have since been used to sell vehicles which have been cloned. DVLA Swansea have reported that approximately 2,000 of the stolen car registration documents have surfaced so far but the police have advised that as a worst case, up to 400,000 of the vehicle registration documents cannot be accounted for and could have fallen into criminal hands.

A cloned car is a stolen vehicle which has had its identity changed to match a legitimate vehicle. Criminals have since made millions of pounds using the blank registration forms to sell stolen vehicles, but time is now running out for them, though as usual DVLa have again reworded the document to deny any responsibility from DVLA Swansea.

Nicola Johnson, Consumer Services Manager for HPI, comments, "The new V5C vehicle registration and number plate certificate and Buyer Beware campaign from the DVLA Swansea is a real boost in the fight against car crime. However, car criminals may continue to use the old style V5C number plate documents that were stolen in 2006, which will still be accepted until they are phased out . Therefore used car buyers need to be on their guard against cloned vehicles now more than ever."

R4V.co.uk have much more car number plate information on our website