DVLA requirements for change to motor caravan


Full Member
Has anyone recieved from JL.. DVLA an acknowledgement of receipt?
I know Owen Smith had an acknowledgement almost immediately.


Full Member
I'm still waiting for a reply to my email.
The deadline is actually today for them to meet their obligation under the FOI Act!
I believe it is 20 working days, so in all approx 4 weeks plus extra allowing for any bank holidays, don't know what happens if they fail to respond in time.


Full Member
different email sent to, but my email was opened immediately apparently? .....

Subject: FOI Request - Vehicle Body Type Reclassification
Sent: 31 July 2019 16:44:33 (UTC+00:00) Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

was read on 31 July 2019 16:44:57 (UTC+00:00) Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London.

I've sent them a follow up reminding them of their obligations under the FOI


Full Member
I believe it is 20 working days, so in all approx 4 weeks plus extra allowing for any bank holidays, don't know what happens if they fail to respond in time.
It is 20 working days indeed. So from the day after the acknowledgment of my request to today is 20 working days, taking into account the August Bank Holiday (y)

I will highlight the interesting bits for the Authorities obligations ....
  • 21. The obligation to respond promptly means that an authority should comply with a request as soon as is reasonably practicable.
  • 22. Whilst this is linked to the obligation to respond within 20 working days, it should be treated as a separate requirement.
  • 23. An authority will therefore need to both respond promptly and within 20 working days in order to comply with section 10(1).
  • 24. Authorities should regard the 20 working day limit as a ‘long stop’, in other words the latest possible date on which they may issue a response.
  • 25. It also follows that an authority which provides its response close to, or on, the final day of the 20 working day limit ought to be able to both account for, and justify, the length of time taken to comply with the request.
And note point 25 is based on them actually responding by the time limit, so not managing that is not acceptable under the terms of the FOI (at the very least, they should respond within the time limit to advise more time is required to provide an answer to the request)
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Full Member
Well, no reply this morning, so a friendly little reminder had to be sent

Please arrange for my request to be dealt with immediately.
In addition, as per point 25. an explanation of why I have not heard to date should be forthcoming.


Full Member
Great news, do you by any chance have any pics of the inside as well, oh and do you have a walk through from the cab as well?
No walkthrough I removed the bulkhead and left the double seat in as the back of the middle seat folds down.


Millie Master

Full Member
I was curious about that aspect as well as I am pretty sure my next conversion will be on a very similar base vehicle :)
The thing I like about these low chassis box vans is the squareness of the body gives you so much more useable space, but I for one would have to have a walk through from the cab.

Millie Master

Full Member
In response to my email I sent to the CEO of the DVLA, this is the reply have just received to my question: -

"As you might know, members of the National Caravan Council (NCC) include the likes of the Swift Group, Bailey Caravans and numerous other professional converters and most, if not all of these companies, on an annual basis, undertake several thousand conversions of panel vans making them into small MOTOR CARAVANS and their V5C documents list them as such, yet in most cases their conversions look almost exactly the same as so many privately undertaken conversions which have been rejected?"

The reply received was: -

Dear Mr McDonald

Thank you for your recent enquiry regarding camper van conversions. Your email has been forwarded to me to respond.
  • It may help if I explain that the body type information held on the DVLA’s records must describe what a vehicle actually looks like. If the exterior of the vehicle does not look like a motor home, we will be unable to change the body type.
  • The purpose of recording “body type” is to describe how a vehicle appears externally to the general public on the road and to assist the Police in identifying vehicles involved in criminal activity.
Therefore, vehicles that have been modified to be used as a motorhome by only changing the interior of the vehicle, do not qualify for a body type change on this basis alone. The vehicle must be recognisable as a motorhome from its external appearance while in traffic in order to qualify for such a change.

The Agency receives many requests to change a vehicle’s body type to a motor home and these vehicles range in different shapes, sizes, and have various distinguishing features so we are unable to provide an exhaustive list of what we would expect to see on an application. However, it is important to remember that even if the DVLA are unable to change the body type to motorhome, vehicle keepers are still able to use the vehicle for this purpose provided any alterations made do not compromise the vehicle’s safety.
  • While the policy relating to the allocation of body types has not changed, following customer feedback we are currently reviewing the information provided on GOV.UK so that customers have greater clarity about the information they need and the actions they need to take when converting a vehicle to a motor home.
  • Please accept our apologies for any confusion this has caused but hope this information has helped clarify the position for you.


Mrs Lisa J John

MASQ & Vehicle Correspondence Team | CCU/ISG | D2 | DVLA | Swansea | SA99 1ZZ

GTN 1213 Ext.86558

(01792) 78 6558

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