DVLA Dating Service

A useful, and vital (if you have imported a bike, or resurrected one that has been off the road for a long time) service is bike dating. Graham Clemans (‘Clem’) and ILOC are authorised by the DVLA to perform this service as an authority of Laverda registration dates.

This service is FREE for ILOC members (which almost pays for the membership fee on its own!), or £25 / £50 for non-ILOC members

Please contact Clem if you require a machine dating letter to confirm your bike’s year of manufacture for registration purposes.  This can assist with obtaining an age-related registration number or retention of original registration number.  The club is authorised by the DVLA to issue these dating letters.  Clem can also provide valuations for insurance purposes and also a letter that confirms a machine is of historic interest.

To ensure your request is handled efficiently please read the following requirements from Clem carefully:


This is what you need to send:

  • 2 rubbings (chassis and engine numbers) or in focus very close up photos
  • 2 photos (one of left side and one of right side) with a current national newspaper headline in shot
  • Front page from the photographed newspaper
  • SAE (with the correct stamp for 100g weight)
  • ILOC membership number or £25 cheque payable to ILOC (private individuals) or £50 cheque payable to ILOC (commercial enterprises or individuals seeking to enhance bike value)
  • Covering letter – if handwritten, please PRINT in block capitals

Send to Mr G Clemans, “Greenways”, Main Road, Knockholt, Kent, TN14 7LS.



Dating certificate / insurance valuation

I ask all enquirers to do the following. Everybody, without exception, is asked to do the same; there are no ‘mates / special people / old pals / Arthur Daly’s / dealers’ etc. or bung merchants. DVLA rules state that the club is not allowed to refuse service to anyone.

  1. Take close-up photos or make pencil rubbings on thin white paper using a soft black pencil of the frame and engine numbers.
  2. Take two photos, one from each side of the bike, the camera lens must be at side panel level and 90 degrees to bike, and to include 100% from front tyre tread at 9 o/clock to rear tyre tread at 3 o/clock, preferably taken outside, but always with good, bright  light. Include the front page of a national daily newspaper in the shot with a legible headline (for dating purposes), get a pal to hold the newspaper on the seat, this will not then obscure any part of the bike, but will cut off the holders head and expose the feet, but its for dating, not a photo competition. The newspaper date will likely as not be unreadable, but the headline establishes the paper’s date.
  3. Print the two photos on photographic paper (minimum postcard size)
  4. Add the original printed front page from the photographed newspaper.
  5. Prepare a self-addressed and correctly stamped envelope (up to 100 grams – your choice of post service at the current rate).
  6. ILOC members – tell me your ILOC membership number: this will be used to identify the person whose name will appear on the dating certificate/valuation. Valid membership will be checked.  The service is usually free to ILOC members.
    Private individuals not wishing to join the club are asked to pay a £25 fee.
    Commercial enterprises requesting this service as part of normal day to day business are required to pay a fee of £50 per certificate (cheque made payable to ILOC).
    Private individuals who are intent on enhancing the value of a bike and securing additional profit (rather than adding the bike to their personal collection) are also required to pay a £50 fee.  At the dating officer’s discretion, this charge may be reduced.
  7. Please note that the bike  must be at least up to roadworthy/MOT standards, mint and shiny is not a requirement, road ready certainly is, so its not possible to register a bike that has parts missing, eg no exhaust, no rear wheel or even the whole bike in boxes etc.
  8. It is highly recommended (but not a legal requirement) that you take your bike for a voluntary MOT, this performs a government approved check and might well save you from taking the bike to an HGV MOT testing station or have a DVLA rep visit you at home, both processes are well worth avoiding and so far (Mar2022) this has 100% worked.
  9. Send all the above in a correctly stamped envelope with covering letter (either typed or PRINTED in capitals if handwritten) to me at “Greenways”, Main Road, Knockholt, Kent, TN14 7LS. My actual title (not known by many) is Graham P Clemans.  Items sent to me with underpaid postage will not be collected and paid for but left to be returned to the sender.
  10. If you are still reading this you have more patience than me and should now take a break and have a brew of the fermented type!

This might sound “too official” but it is not intended to: the reasons are simple. I do not claim any ILOC expenses, and so that my costs are kept to a minimum the enquirer pays for the printing ink; paper and SAE. The process is also not dependent on my computer working at all times (which cannot be guaranteed), since my reply letter can be hand written as long as on ILOC headed paper.  As I am required to keep records, the photos and rubbings will be retained.

Please do not try to tell me what date you think is the appropriate year or the value. I am aware that you all want free road tax or MOT exemption.  And then there is the classic cut-off date which varies between insurers, some at 15 others at 20 and a few at 25 years from manufacture.

The rules from DVLA are simple, if lengthy and I am human. If I cock up once then ILOC’s 600 odd members will cease to have the right to this service, and since I do the same for the VMCC, they might lose it too (that’s all 17,000 members, not just the Laverda element), so I will be doing my utmost not to put my neck on the line. This does not affect genuine people. I am happy to communicate by any means, but don’t take it for granted that because you have sent an email or text that I have seen it. If you want to be sure then talk to me, on a land line or mobile.

Regrettably, and again I do not wish to sound harsh, but if any of the above points above are not fulfilled then there will be no contact from me. It is up to you to contact me and ask why there has been no progress (that’s your phone call not mine), since I do not intend spending time and money chasing missing items.

Usually the request can be turned round in a matter of hours, but like everyone else I do go away for weekends and holidays in the summer for as long as three weeks.