Trailer Registration

On 28th March 2019, mandatory trailer registration comes into force on all commercial trailers being towed outside the UK.

Our FAQ guide below will help you better understand the process and answer any questions you may have.

Which trailers need to be registered?


Trailer registration will be mandatory for all commercial use trailers travelling internationally that weigh over 750kg gross weight. Registration is also mandatory for non-commercial use trailers that travel internationally and weigh over 3500kg in gross weight.

What is classed as a commercial trailer?


A commercial trailer is classified as one that is “used for the transport of goods or passenger’s belongings for commercial purposes.” For example, transport for hire and reward, own account transport or for other professional purposes

Is it only mandatory if I take my trailer abroad?


Yes. Registration is only mandatory for international travel through or within a country that has ratified the 1968 Vienna Convention. Currently, these countries are: – click here.

Can I register trailers that do not travel abroad?


Trailers that weigh over 750kg in gross weight can be registered on a voluntary basis even if they are not travelling abroad.

Are there any trailers I cannot register?


Any trailers with a gross weight of 750kg or less cannot be registered.

Is there any cost to register trailers?


The fees associated with trailer registration are as follows:
– Initial trailer registration £26.00
– New document for a new keeper £21.00
– Duplicate documents £10.00

What details will I need to register my trailer?


As well as your own details, you will need the following:
– Trailer manufacturer
– Chassis Number
– Permissable maximum mass (GVW)
– Unladen mass (ULW)

Where can I go to register my trailer(s)?


The online Trailer Registration service can be found by clicking here.

What will happen if I don’t register?


It will be a legal requirement to register trailers in the mandatory categories from March 28th 2019. You may be subject to enforcement by foreign authorities if you do not register.

What happens after I register?


DVLA will issue a secure trailer registration certificate by post (which will be valid for 10 years from the date it was issued). The certificate should be kept in the vehicle towing the trailer at all times.
You will also be sent email confirmation of the trailer registration and your payment details. This will include authorisation to get the number plate(s) made up for the trailer.
The number plate must be displayed on the trailer (this is separate to the existing number plate of the vehicle towing the trailer).

Why do I need a paper certificate sent in the post?


The certificate must meet the regulations of the UN 1968 Vienna Convention Road Traffic. As a result, this needs to be a secure paper certificate.

Why do I need to keep the certificate with the trailer?


The trailer registration certificate may need to be presented to the authorities of the country in which the trailer is travelling.

Can I laminate the certificate?


We cannot guarantee that a foreign authority would accept a laminated certificate.

Does the certificate need to be in the name of the keeper/driver of the vehicle towing the trailer; or the name of the keeper of the trailer, when abroad?


The keeper of the trailer must be named on the certificate

Where do I need to display the registration plate?


The trailer registration plate must be displayed on the rear of the trailer in a visible and vertical position. It must be displayed as well as the towing vehicle’s registration plate and must be fixed as far as reasonably possible from this plate.

What if I cannot fit a plate on the back of my trailer?


If the plate cannot be displayed at the rear of the trailer, a trailer registration plate must be fixed to both sides of the trailer so they are both clearly visible.

Where can I get a registration plate?


A trailer registration number plate must be obtained from a registered number plate supplier who supplies number plates. Trailer Medic can produce these for you – please ask – Contact Us

Will a GB sticker need to be stuck to the Trailer registration number plate?


To avoid any risk of enforcement action whilst abroad, it is recommended that the UK’s recognised distinguishing sign –‘GB’, should be displayed alongside a trailer registration plate. This should be a separate sign or sticker next to the trailer plate, not on it.

Do I have to display my registration number when in the UK?


Yes. Once a trailer is registered, the number plate should be displayed to comply with legislation

Does the number plate need to be illuminated?

No, there is no requirement to illuminate the number plate.

If I only travel to certain countries must I still register?


Registration is mandatory if a trailer travels through a country that has ratified the 1968 Vienna Convention. To date, the ROI, Malta, Spain and Cyprus have not yet ratified this convention.

What if I’m only travelling to the ROI?


It is not mandatory to register trailers that travel solely between the UK and the ROI. However, if the trailer will travel through any other country that has ratified the 1968 Vienna Convention, it will need to be registered.

Will I receive a reminder to renew if 10 years elapse?


Yes. The service will provide a reminder to renew the trailer registration.

What happens if I make a mistake when registering e.g. wrong trailer details?


Customers will be able to self-serve where possible and the service will allow you to change the keeper and most trailer details.

Why do keepers need to renew their certificate if the trailer has not changed hands?


This is to assist DVLA in maintaining the accuracy of the record and will be used to ensure we have contact with customers.

What happens if I lose the trailer registration certificate whilst I’m abroad?


A replacement certificate will need to be requested as this will need to be produced for foreign authorities if asked to provide it.

What is the process for issuing a duplicate Trailer Registration Certificate if the trailer is abroad?


A replacement certificate should be requested and will be issued to the address held on record for the registered keeper. It will be the keeper’s responsibility then to make the certificate available.

What if I register the wrong trailer, can I de-register and have a refund of the registration fee?


There is no self-serve process in place for the ‘de-registration’of trailers. A keeper would need to write to the DVLA for a case to be considered on the evidence provided.

If the keeper on record does not notify they have sold the trailer, how will that affect me registering?


The service will allow you to register the trailer but we will contact the keeper on record to notify them and advise of the need to provide us with the sale/disposal details.

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