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MG TD TF 1500 - DVLA!! UK registration frustrations

Hi all.

My local DVLA," The dept for registering cars for the UK roads",are really getting me wound up in their lack of understanding of old cars imported from the USA.
The California cert of title has the ID as the engine number!
The C&E386 import doc does as well!
The chassis number obviously doesnt match the car no on the ID plate,because its just TF6985!
The official dating evidence,"birth certificate" on the Heritage cert,makes it abundantly clear to anyone with an ounce of sense that you can cross check these numbers to correctly ID the car!
YET,as these numbers do not match 100%,they are refusing to process it.
They wont even talk to me one to one so I can show them the evidence of how these cars were identified and marked back in the 50's!

Hopefully today I will get an ammended letter giving the proper chassis details from the HMRC "Customs import"!
And I am going to take the ID plate in with me,as its impossible to get a rubbing off it as they have asked for,as the rubbing of the TF6985 number only confuses them!

Has anyone else in the UK had this happen to them?
What or how did you overcome it?

cheers dave

Dave, have you gone here, put in your chassis number and copied the results? Another document couldn't hurt. PJ

Original engine XPEG/849
Build date 09-Sept-1954
Notes HDC 46/6985
Paul sr

Hi Paul.
Yep,been there,the problem being they know the docs have the eng number as the cars ID but to register it in the UK it has to be the cars id/chassis number,and the legal docs they require to support its authenticity MUST match!


I thiink you will find the quickest rout to the solution is to talk to John Innes at MGCC Abingdon. He has helped many MG owners get through problems with DVLC

contact him at

Ian Bowers

I feel your pain!
Not sure if you saw my post to this site recently:
Thread: Makers Plates and Body No
(about 1/2 way down)

Not sure how it works in UK....but in my case "who was behind the counter" on a given day made a lot of differance!

Again...not sure how it works across the pond!
BMV handles this were I live, but I am not "tied" to one office ...there are many places I can go to do this.
What I did not mention in that post:
I had taken my info to 3 or 4 different BMV offices mutiple times before I got "the right clerk"!

Not sure if that will help but maybe food for thought if you are able to do that.

Kind of like trying to get the next plane out at the airport using airport transfers sevenoaks when your flight is cancelled.
Smile, be friendly & NO attitude (not easy to do).
You can catch flies with can catch flies with s**t. The one's caught with honey seem to have a better disposition...and get you home quicker ;-)!

Good luck!
David Sheward

I took my ID plate in to the Co.Court Clerks office to transfer the title and they acted like I had commited a crime by removing it. LOL
Even after I explained the car was purchased in pieces they still acted like I was trying to do something illegal in some way, and the crazy thing was I had the original title.
To make a long story short I finally got the car transferred into my name but it now has a "salvage title".
I also feel your pain.

P.S. I think my big problem was that I was dealing with women who could have cared less about cars, if I could have just got a guy dupty sheriff to come look at the parts and feel out an inspection form, which I once did with a TR7 it would not have been a problem.
R Taylor

Hi all.
I got the right guy today.!
He is on detachement to our local office from Peterborough,and the home of the MGOC,so well used to dealing with them,and as it happens knows about classic imports and USA title, and customs form problems.
He did feel my pain,and we went through it 3 times to be 99% sure all is in order and it will not get thrown back at me.
He did explain where the confusion may of happened,and its down to me giving them everything they asked for,and the details not matching 100% even though it was evident the car was genuine.
Everything they now have matches,thanks to the customs giving me an amended import conformation letter re its id.
BUT,as its passed onto another clerk to complete and process the application,I just hope they dont bung a spanner in the works!

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX My fingers and eveything else I can cross!


Bureaucrats the world over are the same....People in small jobs with real power to torture the innocent...
They are generally boring folks, that enjoy making others dance to their tune....It has always been, and will always be....
I recently was interested in trading cars with a person in Canada...Both cars were antiques...
The number of bureaucratic "hoops" , made the trade impractical, and thus the deal went down the toilet.
E.B. Wesson

Don't you just love big government.
TOM Maine

So a rubbing could have solved this? Hmmm, I have a number & letter punch set so I could have rubbed the ID plate and inserted a rubbing of whatever number on a scrap of aluminium and solved the problem? But that would be "very naughty" so "dont do it". LOL.

M Magilton

....went through the same in Ontario with my 'kit' car... it had been registered as a 'homebuilt' back in the day... but when Emission Testing came into effect, kit cars were exempt and homebuilts weren't....
I took in brochures on the car, Kit Car Magazine articles, affidavites, notarized, letters from Kit consultants, etc, etc.
The woman couldn't handle it and called Toronto ... and got another woman who didn't understand the difference....anyway they both wanted to pull the original files and would get back to me in a 'few weeks'....
The next week i went in and there was a differnt woman..she looked at my stuff and said 'Looks good to me' and handed me my new VIN number (KIT) and license plates.....
gblawson(gordon- TD27667)

Institutional stupidity.
smb brainsky

Yup, I was expecting all of this when i sat down in from of the most stereotypical DMV lady you ever saw. Every piece of paper I handed her resulted in an "OMG this may be a problem - I'll be right back" and she would come back with I "Got that fixed." I just kept waiting for the shoe to fall but after about 45 mins of the "OMG' stuff I walked out with a clean new title and new tags and wondering what evil would balance out my good fortune. Building a new building to house the TD and its been below freszing and rainy since the start -- i guess that's my retrobution.
J K Chapin

When I restored my 1951 TD in 1977 it had last been registered in Massapequa, New York (in 1964) and I was in California. New York at the time registered it under the engine number. When I went to reregister it in California it was necessary to have a police officer verify the VIN and with this California (and now, Oregon) track the car correctly by its VIN: TD8986.
John Quilter (TD8986)

I feel your pain over there in the USA with all your interstate differences!
Why they cant all be the same baffles me!
Its the same with the law inthe USA,,its crazy mixed up!
Ive tried to find out the history of my car from the California DMV,and got back every 5 yrs anything that hasnt been active will of been purged from the system.
It also has Escondito LA on the license plate,so wonder if there maybe a record held there!
If anyone has any ideas on how I can trace its history from 1954 to 1996,or can help me do it,then please Email me!!

Beaurocrats and other officials worldwide who think they know what they are doing but havent a clue are wholly responsible for the red tape blockages and all are a PITA!!!

Cheers Dave

I have a similar issue. There is no mention of the original TD Chassis no.(TD 21284)on the paperwork.
On the original US title it only shows the VIN No. from the State of Utah as UTP 00959 and that's what the German Authorities used on the German title
Declan Burns


Declan Burns

The candidates for a DMV job MUST be chosen on the basis of their disposition, the meaner, the better.
J E Carroll

Going to the DMV here for anything out of the ordinary plate renewal is akin to asking for a good kick in the groin.

15 years ago I bought two MGBGT's that I had seen sitting in the back lot of the local Subaru dealer for years. They had been abandoned by the owners and both had been in minor accidents. Sold to me on a bill of sale. My intention was to use some of the parts for my roadster rebuild. However I was able to get one running in short order and replaced a damaged front fender from the other and had a perfectly good car. So I applied for a title. It wasn't that bad. A little paper work, declare the value on my own and get it bonded for a very low percentage of that figure. After about a month I had a clean title.

Fast forward 12 years and I decided it would be a good idea to get the titles corrected on both the TF and the TD which are titled with the engine numbers. My thought being they would be less head ache should something happen to me and my heirs disposing of them.

I was handed about 20 pages of instructions and told I would now be required to have a professional appraiser value the cars and the post a bond. It was going to be pretty damned expensive for two cars I already have titles to. I decide to hell with it and just walked out.

If you want to hear about some real red tape nightmare I should tell you what I had to go through to get a passport last year. A story not to be believed.
L E D LaVerne

OK, so maybe the other side of the coin. I know the pain having spent a fortune (over 1000 euro in costs) and almost 9 months getting our TD registered in Spain. Now we have moved to Northern Ireland and the car arrived by container last week. Into the local register office and the girl behind the counter apologized because it might take 3 or 4 days to process everything! Oh, and the price - it's free as is a vintage vehicle. She couldn't do enough for us. .... Chris
Chris Malcolm (TD 29228)

Wouldnt you know it,, something had to go wrong!!
1. The clerk forgot to tick the box after checking my personal ID details. GRR!!
2. I hadnt signed the form! DOH!!
I was waiting for all to be in order,then sign,he and I forgot to do so!
At least this time it got the main processing office 100 miles away.
5th time lucky,by the end of next week it should be sorted.
That is unless they decide they want to inspect it.
And if they do the inspector can arrange to come to me,as ive been messed about and had 5 trips to them!


Here in Oklahoma, to register a car, running or not, the vin/serial number has to be verified. To do this if the car isn't running, it has to be loaded on a trailer or, and carried to the motor vehicle agency for them to see. They will not come out to our place! If you register a car here and it's in the restoration process, a set of tags will be paid for every year regardless. Strange how states vary so much in their rules. PJ
Paul sr


After all the frustrations and techincal hurdles thrown at me by the DVLA,its finally legal to drive on the road,although its not quite road ready,"roadworthy" yet!

1954 mgtf1500 Reg no; 524 YUR is now taxed,insured and the V5c arrives in a few weeks.
It wont take much over the weekend to make it roadworthy,so at least I can drive it a few 100 yds up and down to test things out before venturing onto the main roads.

Off to a classic show and jumble tomorrow with my nephew in his Mini,and will get some black/silver numberplates made up while there!


This thread was discussed between 31/01/2013 and 08/02/2013

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