Right where do I begin?
I’m disabled so I don’t have to go the MSVA route to get my vehicles registered, but most of this information will be of some help to you trike builders out there.
Before I started to build my trike I went to my local DVLA office in Nottingham & asked for a VIN, (Vehicle Identification Number), but was told that I couldn’t have one until I’d completed my trike build & taken it to the DVLA office for inspection. Some DVLA offices will issue you with a VIN before you start your build though –Tazet & Manky got theirs from the Wimbledon office in South West London before the build for example. Check with your local office. It’s worth asking them as it’s easier to stamp the VIN onto the headstock prior to the build & it saves you having to sand off your lovely new paint or powder coat to try and stamp the numbers on. So I went away with my tail between my legs & got on with the build.
Once I’d built my trike the fun started.
I had to make an appointment at the DVLA office so I could have the trike inspected. All that happened on that day was the inspector looked at the trike & asked a few questions, i.e. what’s it made out of? What’s the size of the engine? & what disabled adaptations are on the trike. They were satisfied with all this information & issued me with a VIN number & a letter. I was then told I had to get the number stamped into the headstock before having it verified by a garage. The garage then had to emboss the letter with the old type MOT stamp.
Once I got that done I had to return to the DVLA office once again with the verified letter. The inspector then told me I had to go & get an MOT & insurance on my trike before they could proceed any further with the registration.
I also had a handful of forms I had to fill in & was told that they had to be filled in    correctly with all the right information. If not they wouldn’t carry on with the registration process. The forms are O.K to fill in -nothing too hard to figure out. If you have access to the internet you can find most the answers to the questions. They relate to things like the weight of the trike. You need a weigh bridge certificate for that. You also have to give the trike a make & model. Mine is make, “Rodent”, model, “Mouse”. You can use anything as long as it’s not a registered name, i.e. Ford. They also ask which taxation class you require, which is Tricycle. As I said, most of the questions are easily answered but make sure you answer them all. The weight certificate only cost me £6 and was the easiest part of the process.
I hope you’re following this!
I was now armed with all my documents correctly filled in, my weight certificate, MOT & insurance. You’ll need proof of your address. A recent power bill will do but it mustn’t be too old or they won’t accept it. You’ll also need a driving licence or passport, plus all your receipts from the build. Make sure you keep all your receipts as they do check them.
As my trike was a ground up build, I didn’t have any previous registration documents, so I had to pay for a new registration document. That cost me £55. Mine is a Q plate. I also had to pay for £66 for the vehicle tax. You don’t have a choice about that & have to pay it on the day.
The registration process took me 6 weeks to sort out. 300 miles & a lot of stress but don’t let that put you off. It’s one hell of a good feeling when you achieve it all.
One more thing before I forget- they will issue you with a letter that gives you permission to get a number plate made. There are only a handful of places that will make number plates legally now & it’s like trying to get blood out of a stone. They have to be registered with Swansea. You’ll need the letter from the DVLA, plus a power bill to prove your address & a driving licence or passport just to get your number plate made.
Most of all don’t let ‘em grind ya down & keep smiling through it. You’ll get there in the end!
This is they way it happened for me. I’ve heard of others doing it totally differently so there’s obviously more than one way around the paperwork maze. Please just use this as a rough guide to the processes involved. Good luck!