Fraudsters trade hundreds of lost V5 forms on black market

Industry leaders have hit out at the DVLA for publicising a campaign on the use of vehicle log books when 2.6m are in circulation on the black market.

Fraudsters obtained the V5 forms after the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) blundered by losing a consignment of the forms last year.

The lost forms, which chart a vehicle's history, were part of 2.6 million documents destined for disposal by a confidential waste company in the Birmingham area last year.

The forms are now being traded on the black market.

It is understood that 600 forms have been recovered from as far away as Malta, Kenya, Cyprus and Sweden. A significant number have also been recovered in the Leeds and Leicester area.

This comes at a time when the DVLA has launched a massive marketing campaign to promote the importance of having a V5 form.

This is to comply with new licensing procedures, which come into force on

1 February and state that anyone applying for a vehicle licence at a post office will have to produce a V5 form or a V11 licence reminder.

A leading claims manager questioned the faith the insurance industry could put in the V5 in such a situation.

The DVLA responded with a statement saying: "The DVLA was greatly concerned by the recent theft of blank registration documents from the premises of a reputable waste disposal company, to which they had been sent for destruction."

It issued a statement on 28 August last year to explain to the public and relevant enforcement agencies of the serial numbers and all incidents of the documents being received at DVLA.

It said these cases had been reported to the police and the National Criminal Intelligence Service for further investigation.

"This has resulted in several arrests and quantities of documents being seized," a spokesman said.