Isle of Man vehicle registration cards

Scope and Content

Vehicle registration cards for Isle of Man registered vehicles arranged in 770 bundles by registration number. The cards typically include the vehicle registration number, chassis number, colour, engine number, make, model, owner, date registered and addresses of the owner.

The cards do not form a complete series and some registrations are not present. The original order of the cards (as received when the cards were transferred to the Isle of Man Public Record Office) has been retained; as a result, the cards may not be in strict registration number order within each bundle. Vehicle registration numbers were frequently re-issued following cancellation of a registration and as a result, registration number sequences can be found repeating throughout the series.

For a small number of registrations, other documentation (such as tax discs, applications and correspondence relating to the vehicle) may be found at the back of the bundle.

The use of vehicle registration cards was discontinued in the early 1980s after the introduction of a computerised database system.

Administrative / Biographical History

Vehicle registration on the Isle of Man began in January 1906 as a result of the passing by Tynwald of the Highways Act Amendment Act, 1905. The Act introduced compulsory registration of motor cars and motor cycles on the Island. Vehicle registration was initially the responsibility of the Highways Board. Records of vehicle registration continue to be maintained by the Isle of Man Government to the present day in computerised form; the sequence of vehicle registration cards was discontinued during the 1980s after introduction of a computerised database. Responsibility for vehicle registration has passed through various boards and departments over the course of the 20th and early 21st centuries and is currently (Feb 2016) the responsibility of the Vehicle and Driver Licensing section of the Department of Infrastructure, Finance and Governance division.

Access Information

For information on visiting the Isle of Man Public Record Office please see our website:

Other Finding Aids

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Archivist's Note

Series level description created by Angela Skitt, IOMPRO, 25 Feb 2016

Conditions Governing Use

Crown copyright (duration - 125 years from the end of the calendar year of production)

Appraisal Information

Selected for permanent preservation during a visit to the Highways Licensing division (Sea Terminal, Douglas) on 24 February 2015 (Angela Skitt, IOMPRO)

Custodial History

Records were stored at the Sea Terminal Vehicle Licensing Office from 2005-2015. During 2015, they were briefly stored by IMS (Isle of Man Post Office). In December 2015, they were transferred by the Department of Infrastructure to the Isle of Man Public Record Office under section 3(4) of the Public Records Act 1999. Prior to 2005 it is likely that the cards were stored at the Central Government Offices in Bucks Road, Douglas, although this has not been confirmed.