Nope, this isn’t some kind of weird rust based Italian fetish, it’s something many classic scooter buyers will get involved with if they’re looking for an age related plate for a machine they hope to bring back to life. Pete (BLA) Davies is the man at the British Lambretta Archive who many of you will have been in touch with if you need a Lambretta dating certificate. He sent us this latest info about changes to the system…
Anyone who has ever tried to register a Lambretta, Vespa or any other scooter for that matter will know the number of hoops that have been set in place over the years by the DVLA. As with most Government based organisations they have introduced changes to the registration process and some have been passed on to authenticating bodies and some haven’t. Recently, there has been an upsurge in the number of authentication letters (also known as dating certificates) that have been rejected because they are over 12 months old. A new rule we weren’t aware of and for which we have seen no mention of from the DVLA.
12 month limit
To be honest, the date on a letter never used to be an issue. However, on contacting DVLA to query this matter I have been informed that yes, the rule now is that if you have an authentication letter it has to be used within 12 months otherwise you’ll be out of date and need to get a new one. I asked why this was now the case and was told that the rule had come in as things may have changed with the machine over the 12 months since the letter was issued.
The new rules will of course cause an issue for all those of us with projects on the go and which, even in my case, have been on the go for sometime (currently 18 months plus for me!). My advice is that if you have an old authentication letter (12 months or older) then check with whoever provided it (whether that be VCB, BLA, VVC, LCGB, VMSC etc) and see about replacing it. The British Lambretta Archive will replace theirs for £5, but other authenticating bodies may choose to do them for more, or for free.
It may be that people need to think about when it’s best to apply for an authentication letter. Yes we know that HMRC will want you to apply for a NOVA number and you need that before DVLA will look at your paperwork but if you’re not careful you could end up falling foul of the system purely because you take your time with a project.
Pete (BLA) Davies
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