What is a Certificate of Destruction or COD?

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A Certificate of Destruction (CoD) is a document given in receipt of a vehicle being scrapped. This certificate proves that the previous owner has disposed of their vehicle responsibly and relieves them of all legal responsibility. 

How the COD works

Current legislation states that all vehicles that are scrapped and recycled must be issued with a Certificate of Destruction.

This proves that the vehicle has been lawfully disposed of, and also proves that the previous owner of the vehicle is no longer responsible for it. A CoD will be issued by an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) usually within 7 working days.

If your motor has been scrapped, but is still roadworthy, an ATF is allowed to reuse – so in this case, a Certificate of Destruction will not be issued.

A car in a scrap yard being lifted by a crane claw

Certificate of Destruction FAQs

Do I Need a Certificate of Destruction?

No – it’s not essential. A CoD is a way of letting the DVLA know you are no longer the owner of the vehicle. It’s also proof that you have relinquished all legal responsibility for the motor. When scrapping a vehicle, the most important thing is that you change the name of ownership from yours, to the name of the ATF who is scrapping it.

What Do I Do With a CoD?

A Certificate of Destruction is simply kept for your records. It’s proof that you are no longer the owner of the vehicle and are not responsible for what happens to it in the future – fines, charges etc. Your CoD will include your name, address, nationality, signature and details of the vehicle that was scrapped and details of the ATF who scrapped it.

Who Do I Contact If I Don’t Receive a CoD?

Ensure you have completed and sent off your v5c, if you have lost the v5c form you have more information here, but if you haven’t received your Certificate of Destruction within 20 days, get in contact with the ATF to discuss. Remember, if your vehicle has the ability to return to the road, or for any reason has not been crushed and recycled, you will not receive a CoD. If you’re unsure, contact the scrappage company you used.

Do I Need to Do Anything After I’ve Received the Certificate of Destruction?

No! Once you’ve received your CoD, you do not need to do anything, your vehicle has been scrapped and recycled and the process is complete. Simply keep the document for your reference. 

Should I Contact the DVLA?

Yes – you should always contact the DVLA once your vehicle has collected and taken away for scrap or salvage. Even if you are waiting for your CoD, you must still notify the DVLA that you are no longer the owner of the vehicle – if you fail to contact the DVLA you could face a fine.

How Do I Notify the DVLA?

When your chosen buyer arrives to collect your vehicle, you will fill in section 9 of your v5c (or section 4 of the newer v5c). Once your vehicle has been taken away, you must then send this off to the DVLA so they are aware of the transaction, and to officially relieve you of ownership of the vehicle. You will then receive your CoD within 7 days. Read more about how do I notify the DVLA when scrapping a car?

Scrap cars in a pile