How do I register my camper van with the DVLA? What is the new legislation?

24th January 2020
The DVLA have recently changed their process of registering camper van conversions such as ours. Here is how to register them correctly and everything you need to know.

Following a busy summer period here and all over the campervan conversion industry, we were all met with a change in regulations in regards to registering your converted panel van as a motor home. We, as did others started having documents returned as rejected due to some small defects in the application, we have since been asked by customers and other business how we go about registering our Platinum Wave Campers with the DVLA. 

Why has the process changed?

The DVLA and law enforcement in the UK had a meeting towards the end of summer 2019 due to the rise in UK families investing in converted campervans or motorhomes. With the recent boom in the industry and the increasing number of vehicles on the road it started to become a noticeable issue that needed addressing. The Police and road traffic officers were putting across the arguement that a converted campervan is hard to spot when it's seen in traffic, on the move or at a passing glance. 

So if the vehicle is registered as a motorhome it was not visually noticeable from the outside, moving forward they made some changes to the application process for your motorhome V5 document. Below is the DVLA run through of how to correctly register your vehicle as a motorhome and whats changed, forewarned is forearmed.

Visit GOV Website HERE!

So what's changed?

The visual exterior appearance is the main priorty here for the police and law enforcement, they need to easily identify a motorhome from a panel van in traffic. 

A couple of important things to remember:

  • The body type recorded does NOT affect the insurance category of the vehicle;
  • There are no effects on speed limits or other legislative requirements, though you should check out the current speed limits for different types of vehicles here;
  • You can still use the vehicle for a ‘motor caravan’ purpose, even if the body type has not been changed on the V5C*

There are a few more small additions they have added to the application process so they easily distinguish a motor home on the road, and some of these aren't to everybodys tastes.


  • Motor caravan-style graphics on both sides of the vehicle;
  • An awning bar attached to either side of the vehicle;
  • A high-top roof (this does not include a pop-top elevating roof).



Now there is now specifics of how they decifer motor caravan style graphics or the awning bar appearence so this can be a very grey area as to whats acceptable, but certainly if you are looking for a sleek clean design on your Platinum Wave Conversion then it's going to make the motorhome registration more difficult. 

How do we move forward?

Due to all these changes with the DVLA and the V5 application process we have hit a lot of stumbling blocks with our conversions and trying to register them as a motor caravan. Countless application rejection letters and backwards and forwards phone calls with the DVLA.

We have found the best method of correctly registering your dream Platinum Wave Camper with the DVLA is to document the full build and conversion with a gallery of images from initial collection of the commercial vehicle right up to handing it over to the client at the end. We then send all of these off with the application form, which will currently come back registering your motorhome as a Van With Windows. Again this won't affect anything else such as insurance, speed limits or ferry charges as they all fall into the same catergory. 

But you don't have to worry about any of this at all when you purchase your Camper van from Platinum Wave Campers, wether its a Custom Build or one of our countless camper vans for sale we handle the whole registration process at point of sale. Once your van is collected, we deal with all the DVLA application so you can enjoy your new camper van and start creating memories right away!

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