Machine Dating - age verification for Ducatis

In the UK all road going motorcycles must be registered with the DVLA and carry a registration number (number plate). The mark allocated to a machine is related in various ways to the age of the vehicle.

If the original production date is not known the vehicle receives a ‘Q plate’ where the main numbers / letters are preceded by Q. This stands for ‘age not known / imported’. For some owners this is acceptable but for most, particularly those with classic machines, a number plate of the style in use when the bike was new is preferable.

Members may have one bike dated free per year, any more will cost £30.

Non-members pay £30 in all cases. Cheques should be made out to ‘Ducati Owners Club GB’ but should not be sent until requested.

To get a certificate, first of all send an email to Pete Ward ducarc@aol.com, and give your name and what model of Ducati you are seeking a certificate for.

You will receive a reply asking you to email (preferable) or send in any supporting documentation you have eg. old logbook, import certificate, whatever you’ve got. You should also provide a picture of the bike from each side and the engine and frame numbers. The pictures should show the bike in the form it is going to be when licensed so it must be substantially complete. Extra pics showing engine / frame numbers or additional details are very helpful.

Finally don’t forget to provide your DOC GB membership number and your postal address as the certificates come by post and only the ‘wet’ (hand signed) copy is officially valid. If you lose the original a replacement will cost you £10 at present date (2018).

The DVLA are a bit particular about handing out registration numbers for old or imported vehicles. They require something to back up claims that a machine is eligible for an ‘age related’ plate. To help in this respect they issue a booklet known as the V765/1 List of Vehicle Owners Clubs, which lists all the clubs that they recognise as being their official contact for a given marque of car or bike. Naturally they prefer any documentation to back up dating claims to come from a club they have records of. If you look on their website (www.direct.gov.uk/motoring) you can find and view the latest version of the booklet. You will also find lots of info about registering old / imported vehicles.

For many years there was no Ducati club in the booklet, but in 2007 the DOC GB gained recognition as the Ducati club for the list. The club can now provide a certificate which the DVLA will accept as proof of age.

The DOC GB have a contact at the factory but their records are not complete and they are also very busy, so it can be a long wait for production dates. In addition the scheme is run entirely by volunteers so turn around will not be instant. However it is very satisfying to see an old bike wearing a ‘correct’ number plate or displaying the one it originally had when new. And having accepted proof of age and the right number can also have a significant affect on the resale value of a machine.

A DOC GB service for Ducati lovers by Ducati lovers.