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What is a COD or Certificate of Destruction?

A DVLA Certificate of Destruction (COD) is a formal document that’s generated when the Authorised Treatment Facility that’s scrapping your car officially reports your vehicle’s destruction. A COD confirms that your car is no longer registered to you and has been dismantled in line with the regulations set out by the Environment Agency and DVLA.

Although it’s important to keep the COD on file to prove you are no longer responsible for the vehicle, insurance companies will sometimes ask to see a Certificate of Destruction to prove that a car is longer in use – and has been disposed of according to their instructions.

Only a Certificate of Destruction issued by the DVLA is acceptable

Occasionally, traders who offer cash for old or damaged vehicles will claim to offer a scrap car Certificate of Destruction. It’s important to be aware that only government approved Authorised Treatment Facilities (ATFs) can access the DVLA Certificate of Destruction online system to request that the document is generated. 

Forging a DVLA issued document is an offence – so an unregistered scrap yard that’s looking to make some money from your scrap car will sometimes use a Certificate of Destruction template - but call the document something else; occasionally a ‘Certificate of Disposal’ or ‘Confirmation of Destruction’. Not only will your insurance company reject a non-official document, but you may also be left legally responsible for the car without the proper paperwork to confirm it’s been disposed of. 

At, every scrap yard we work with meets ATF approval – so, if you want to be 100% certain that you’ll get the correct paperwork, using a reputable car scrapping service is vital.

When will you get your COD?

How quickly you receive your Certificate of Destruction will depend on how quickly the ATF handling your car begins the official scrapping process. Usually, this will be done promptly, and the scrap yard will access the DVLA Certificate of Destruction login to report the dismantling has begun. 

When the DVLA receive this notification, they will produce the COD – and make a copy available to the facility that bought your car. When requested, the dismantler can forward a copy on to you. If you need a COD quickly, it’s worth getting in touch with the scrap yard directly, so they can make sure your car’s dealt with promptly. We advise all customers that it is best to request a COD at the time of booking to ensure it is handled in the scrap channel.

What should you do with your COD?

Most people will simply keep their COD on file, so they can prove that the car is no longer their responsibility if required. Sometimes, an insurance company will want to see a copy of the certificate, to confirm your vehicle’s been destroyed. If this is the case, you should forward the COD to them, to satisfy your insurance conditions.

Other related FAQs

Looking for more related content to this? We’ve picked a selection of related topics that you may find helpful

That’s okay if you don't have your V5C; we can scrap your vehicle without it. However, the person who collects your car will need to see proof of ID and address – and you’ll need to make sure you inform the DVLA that your car has been transferred.

To scrap your car, you’ll need to provide photo ID and proof of address. While not essential, if you have your V5C registration document, this may simplify the process.

A waste carrier’s licence is a registration you need if you move any kind of waste product – scrap cars included. At, each of our partner dismantlers appears on this register, so you can be confident your vehicle will be handled in line with Environment Agency standards.

You should use the registration document to let the DVLA know you’ve sold your car to a dismantler. You can do this by completing and returning section 9 of the form – or, on V5Cs issued after April 2019; section 4.

As part of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, it is a legal requirement for a scrap metal dealer to verify the full name and address of someone who is handing scrap metal over to them.

If you’ve lost your V5 registration document, sometimes referred to as a title, you can still sell your car for scrap, but you’ll need to inform the DVLA by post after your car’s been successfully scrapped with certain details of the transaction. A useful letter template is available by contacting us.

It’s your legal responsibility to let the DVLA know you’re selling your car for scrap. The easiest way to do this is by using Section 9 of the V5C log book document (or section 4 on V5Cs issued after April 2019) – which your collection driver will be happy to help with.