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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71132
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have a number of minibuses under construction at a vehicle

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I have a number of minibuses under construction at a vehicle convertor in Devon. They have passed an IVA test, and the registration documents have been applied for and the road tax paid, and number plates fitted. As this can now only be done online, it can take up to 10 days for the DVLA to action the application. The question is, can I drive the vehicles whilst waiting for the documents? If not what are the risks?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
The issue isn't whether you actually physically have the registration documents. The issue is whether the vehicles have been registered.
It would be cautious to wait until you have the documents. If you drive without them then you take the risk they are not registered.
There are various offences in driving an unregistered vehicle and it would void any insurance. Therefore if the worst did happen then you could be prosecuted for permitting or having no insurance and failing to register.
However, that is obviously worse case scenario. There is no offence in driving without the documents. The risk lies in the fact that you could not be sure that the vehicle had been registered.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We could prove that the application has been received by the DVLA and that the tax has been paid. It's just that the registration does not appear on the dvla website for (up to) 10 days.

If I can't drive it then I am paying road tax for a vehicle which I am not allowed to take on the road.

I already know what the registration numbers will be as the manufacturer has already notified us. Number plates are already fitted.

Does any of this make any difference?

Not in practice.
If you were caught then you might be able to persuade the DVLA and CPS not to prosecute it for public interest reasons on that basis but I wouldn't guarantee it.
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