Owner Name and Address Declarations
This information leaflet sets out the owner name and address information required to be declared to Revenue at the time of registration of motor vehicles. These requirements apply in respect of vehicles being registered by the owners themselves and to vehicles which are being registered on the owners’ behalf, for example by motor dealers. It comes in the context of Judicial comment to the effect that the recording and certification of incorrect ownership particulars facilitates efforts to avoid accountability for offences.
This leaflet will be of particular interest to motor dealers and other authorised persons who make on-line registration declarations on the ROS VR system on behalf of vehicle owners.
However the requirements set out apply to all declarations for registration, however made.
The importance of ownership information
It is a key requirement in maintaining the Register of Vehicles that the vehicle ownership details declared at the time of registration are both accurate and legally correct. The name declared is the name that will appear on the Vehicle Registration Certificate and the person named is responsible in law for that vehicle until a change of ownership is declared. It is therefore essential that the person named as owner at the time of registration is a legal person, i.e. a person who may be held legally accountable, if required.
Section 139 (1) of the Finance Act 1992 provides that:
“ It shall be an offence under this subsection for a person, in respect of a vehicle in the State –
- to make a declaration under section 131 which is false or in any material respect misleading or to allow any other person to make such a declaration on their behalf,”.
It should be noted that this section applies not only to motor dealers and other persons who submit declarations on behalf of owners but also to the owners themselves insofar as the information provided by them is concerned. It does however place a responsibility on dealers where they are aware that the name and address provided to them for registration purposes are not in fact the correct name and address of the declared owner.
The ownership information required
The owner to be named on the registration declaration and therefore on the vehicle registration certificate is:-
- the person or the legally accountable entity by whom the vehicle is to be kept i.e. the person who will be responsible for the use of that vehicle on a day to day basis, or
- if a vehicle is the subject of a hire-purchase agreement or a lease, the person or the legally accountable entity in possession of the vehicle under the agreement or lease.
What is a legally accountable entity?
A legally accountable entity, as distinct from a private individual, is essentially a legal person or entity that can own property and can sue or be sued. In VRT terms the owner must be an entity capable of being held liable for the tax and of being prosecuted. This includes all businesses incorporated under the Companies Acts and also other entities such as Local Authorities, partnerships, and the like. While it is not possible to give an exhaustive list of acceptable legal entities, as a general rule the name under which the declared owner is registered for tax purposes should be acceptable.
A Trading (T/A) name is not a legal entity
The declaration as owner of a trading name, which is not the name of a legal entity, is not acceptable. Where the name of a legal entity has already been entered, the trading name, with the prefix T/A, may also be entered in the space provided for first names on the VRT declarations.
Joint names are no longer acceptable
Only one person may now be declared as the owner of a vehicle. The declaration of ownership of vehicles in joint names is no longer acceptable. This is in line with the policy adopted by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government as regards subsequent changes of ownership. This also follows from the Judicial comment referred to in the Introduction.
The address information required
The address required to be entered is the address in the State at which the owner ordinarily resides at the time of registration. This address determines the county index assigned and is the address to which the vehicle registration certificate will be posted. This address may also be used for legal purposes. It is important therefore that the address declared is the correct address of the declared owner. The declaration of some other address, e.g. that of a motor dealer or dealer's agent, or of a relative of the owner, is not permitted. In particular "care of" addresses cannot be accepted.
Further information in relation the registration of a vehicle may be found in the Guide to VRT or at any Revenue Office. Information in relation to booking a vehicle for pre-registration examination may be found at www.ncts.ie/vrt .