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How to register your BSA with DVLA


The BSA Owners' Club is registered with the DVLA for the purposes of issuing dating certificates and advising on the retention of registrations.

Retaining your original registration.
This only applies to vehicles used in the UK.

When the original registration information was transferred to computer and V5 certificates were issued, in 1984, some bikes missed the cut off date for registering them for the records, held at Swansea. These numbers, in some cases, can be reclaimed if they have not already been claimed, or transferred to another vehicle. If you own a BSA motorcycle we can help you with regaining your original registration, if you do not have it on a V5. To be able to do this you need some evidence to support your claim for the original registration number. You must of course know the original registration number and have either the old log book, a tax disc, MOT certificate or a copy of an entry in the original registration records of the district in which it was first registered. List of existing registers. Each of these needs to have a connection to the frame number. IE. The frame number of your bike and original registration number you are claiming, need to be on the original logbook, if that is what you are using to make your claim. Please click on the following link to find out how to apply. Retention of registration form.

Print off the Retention of registration form instructions and follow them EXACTLY to ensure your claim is considered.


Applying for a Machine Dating Certificate.

The club through the Machine Dating Officer are able to supply a dating certificate for all BSA motorcycles. This is compiled from the original BSA factory despatch books of which the club have a copy and usually contains the dealer who first received the bike and the date it was despatched. Sometimes the specification and colour are also included. It is also possible to tell if the engine now fitted is the original one it had when it left the factory. As the club are registered with the DVLA who deal with all vehicle registrations in the UK the dating certificate is recognised by them for dating purposes with regard to the age of a vehicle when claiming historic tax exemption and for registering machines on the Swansea computer to achieve a licence number. As the factory is now closed the certificate is also recognised in many countries by registration authorities and customs as verification that a certain machine is a BSA and that it was built at a certain time. To obtain a dating certificate it is necessary to write to the Machine Dating Officer, Brian Pollitt, 16 Dane Avenue, Partington, Manchester, England, M31 4GB. He needs the FULL engine and frame numbers including all prefixes or suffixes. You will need to supply pencil rubbings of the engine and frame numbers as this is now a stipulation of the DVLA. Also needed is some information as to what you think the bike is, and what year it may be made, if it is relevant. Photographs also help to identify the machine and will be returned if you wish. The search fee for this service is £5 sterling for BSAOC members or £10 for non-members for each machine, plus a stamped addressed envelope, or for overseas enquiries add an extra pound to cover postage. Cheques/postal orders must be made out to BSAOC library account. All monies go to pay for articles for the club's library.

Please note that the despatch book records only go back to 1924 and in some cases are not complete, so full despatch information may not be given for a small number of machines. However it is possible to issue a dating certificate for all machines, giving at least the year of manufacture.

When to use a Machine Dating Certificate

A) If your vehicle does not have a registration number :-

1. Obtain proof of the year of manufacture of the vehicle from a club or organisation relevant to the make, model or type of vehicle. (Dating Certificate).

2. Arrange MOT Test Certificate and Insurance cover. This can be done using the frame number.

3. Contact your nearest VRO and explain what you wish to do. They may wish to inspect the vehicle, but in any event they can tell you how to proceed.

4. Complete V55/5 application form and submit to your nearest VRO together with your dating information, Test Certificate, Insurance documents and appropriate licence fee.

5. If the VRO is satisfied with the application they will issue an appropriate age related registration number. N.B. - Non-suffix numbers are issued non-transferably. The Vehicle Excise Disc will be issued straight away. The registration document should follow within six weeks.

B) If your vehicle is currently registered. but the registration number does not match the year of manufacture or if trying to acquire Historic Tax status :-

1. Obtain proof of the year of manufacture of the vehicle from a club or organisation relevant to the make, model or type of vehicle. (I.E. Dating Certificate).

2. Contact your nearest VRO and explain what you wish to do. They may wish to inspect the vehicle, but in any event they can tell you how to proceed.

3. Submit your V5 registration document, Dating Certificate and vehicle excise disc (if the vehicle is licensed) to the VRO. If they are satisfied with the application, they will allocate a more appropriate number.

N.B. - Non-suffix numbers are issued non-transferably. They will issue a replacement excise disc and arrange for a revised registration document to be sent to you.

DVLA Find out about registering your bike here.