How To Prove Ownership Of a Static Caravan

Many travel enthusiasts know about the luxury, comfort, and mobility caravans can provide, but you may not know about the process behind obtaining or proving ownership for your caravan. The process is somewhat complicated because caravans are often traded and sold, so there needs to be a way to keep track of ownership and transactions for legal and logistical purposes.

The main way to prove the ownership of a static caravan is through the Caravan Registration & Identification System. This system provides a unique 17-digit code that helps identify the caravan and owner. There is also further documentation available that helps prove ownership.

There are many reasons you would need to prove your ownership, and it can be difficult to determine which way is the best to do so in some situations. The rest of this article will detail how to prove your ownership and what you would need to do during ownership transactions.

CRiS Identification Number

The National Caravan Council wanted to create a way to keep track of all caravans, mainly to prevent caravan crime. So, they created the Caravan Registration & Identification Scheme (CRiS) in 1992 in order to keep track of all the information for caravans.

Every tourer is given their own unique identifier number that’s connected to them and their caravan:

  • The number is 17 digits, and it contains a lot of data for the caravan and owner.
  • The number is put into various parts of the caravan.
  • The number and caravan description is kept in a Touring Caravan Registration Document.

This Identification Number is very important, and this is one of the various pieces of information that you constantly need to keep track of should you ever need to use it in the future. Because this number is unique to both the owner and the caravan itself, whenever ownership of a caravan is transferred, a new CRiS Identification Number must be made and registered. You can think of the Identification Number as being the fingerprint for the caravan and owner.

The Information The Identification Number Holds

The CRiS Identification Number is 17 digits, which is a very long number, so it’s intuitive that this number would hold a lot of information. The way it works is that the digits are grouped, so each portion represents a certain detail or piece of information. Many caravan owners don’t make an effort to verify that their Identification Number matches correctly, but it might prove useful in the future if you get into a challenging situation. As such, we’ll explain what the different digits mean:

  • The first two digits reflect which company manufactured the caravan. Here’s a table that lists the different codes and their corresponding company:
ABABICPCompass (May show Explorer Group code)
ADAdriaCSCosalt (May show Swift Group code)
AVAvondaleCUSprite (May show Swift Group code)
BEBessacarr (May show Swift Group code)ELElddis (May show Explorer Group code)
BUBuccaneer (May show Explorer Group code)EXExplorer Group (May show Elddis code)
CMCoachmanSWSwift Group
  • The third digit represents the make of the caravan, and the use of this digit can vary. 
  • The fourth digit represents whether the caravan is a single or twin axle; an S represents a single axle, and a T represents a twin axle. 
  • The next three digits represent optional manufacturer data, which usually corresponds to the model. 
  • The next two digits can again vary, and sometimes it’s used to show the caravan make as well. The make codes correspond to the same table used for the company.
  • The tenth digit represents the year the caravan was made, and the following table matches the digit with the corresponding year:
W199862006E2014N2022 (or 1992)

Important Note About the Year: When checking your year, you need to keep in mind that the caravan years don’t correspond to a normal calendar year. Caravan years begin on September 1st and end on August 31st, and the code corresponds to the year associated with the August date. So a caravan with the code N could’ve been manufactured anytime from September 1st, 1991 to August 31st, 1992. 

You should also know that some European manufacturers include the letter Q in their codes, and in this case, you would have to contact the manufacturer yourself to see what the code means. 

  • The remaining digits represent the caravan serial number, which is a standardized code to identify all manufactured products.

You now have the information you need to determine the correct information for your caravan, and you should do your best to confirm that the details for your caravan correspond correctly to its CRiS Identification Number. If you’re having trouble, you can always contact CRiS to determine what the information for your caravan should be, and you should contact anyways as an added layer of confirmation.

Caravans Made Before 1992

The Caravan Registration & Identification Scheme only started mandating the creation and assignment of CRiS Identification in 1992, so that means a lot of caravans that were made before 1992 probably don’t have an Identification Number assigned or marked on their body. If you’re somehow already an owner of a caravan without an Identification Number, all you need to do is register for one and then find a place to mark it on the caravan.

If you’re planning to buy a caravan, what usually happens is that the seller will register the van, and then you’ll receive a CRiS certificate afterward. But, if the caravans happen not to have an Identification Number, you’re going to need to talk with the dealer to get the information about the caravan. Once you have this information, you’ll need to register the caravan with CRiS.

The Paperwork Static Caravan Owners Need 

Your CRiS Identification Number should provide you with all that you need because its information is documented. Also, insurance companies document your caravans for general insurance purposes and because caravans are very prone to legal status checks.

It’s a good idea to keep track of all the caravan information and documents that you have in case you ever need to use them. Here’s what you should have available:

  • The CRIS Identification Number is the most important piece, and it can be found in various documents and on your caravan itself.
  • You could also use the various insurance documents that come with owning a caravan.
  • CRiS also has a database, so you could use it to retrieve the proper documentation.

Let’s begin by talking about the most important piece: your CRiS Identification Number. This is going to be the most documented piece of information, and rightfully so. It’s the main identifier for the caravan itself, and it’s going to be the most useful in proving your ownership. Every time ownership transfers, the information is updated along with the CRiS Identification Number so that the buyer can legally prove ownership.

In terms of the physical paperwork behind your CRiS Identification Number, here are a few ways you can receive your actual number when you become an owner of a caravan: 

  • Firstly, the number is kept in a Touring Caravan Registration Document that you should be able to access whenever you need to. 
  • Second, after the transfer of ownership has been completed, you should also be given a CriS certificate containing the actual CRiS Identification Number.

Insurance and Finance Documents

People sometimes forget that other kinds of official documents can also be used to prove your ownership. Most notably, you can use various insurance documents to prove that you’re the rightful owner of the caravan. Insurance documents are great because they’re so versatile; not only do they prove that you’re the owner of the caravan, but they can also hold a lot of other information relating to the caravan’s status.

It makes sense that insurance documents can prove ownership because you need insurance to buy one. Even so, you can also use certain types of financial documents to prove you’re the owner. Sometimes these financial documents come from the seller when the caravan’s ownership transfers to a new buyer.

Other times it comes from a bank or other financing institution that either helped or approved your purchase of the caravan

Keeping Track of Documents and Registration Information

Because there’s a lot of documentation involved with owning and maintaining a caravan, it’s important that you keep track of all these various documents and know where to get them if needed.

In order to help keep track of your documents, you should know where to access:

  • The CRiS Identification Number is encoded onto various parts of your caravan, including the physical body, and on an electronic tag.
  • The National Caravan Council and CRiS also serve as proper resources for keeping track of all your documentation, including which documents you need.
  • When you receive your documents, you want to make sure you put them in a secure place that provides quick access if you ever need them.

It can’t be overstated. The CRiS Identification Number is probably the most important information you should keep track of, and fortunately, there are various ways to do so. 

For one thing, the number itself is printed on many parts of your caravan, including the chassis, windows, and frame. In addition, the number is put into an electronic tag on your caravan so that official authorities, such as the police, can quickly scan and identify your caravan.

Keeping track of your CRiS Identification Number can also help prevent theft because the number will verify who the actual owner is. That means if someone were to steal it, the authorities could easily check if the caravan is stolen or not by checking the CRiS Identification Number. Even if the thief were to erase the caravan’s number, the police could still check the electronic tag.

Caravan Registration & Identification Scheme

The most useful resource that you can use to help keep track of all your documents and registration is the actual CRiS. You’d be surprised at how many people seem to forget about them, and they can do a lot more than simply give you your CRiS Identification Number. 

We’ve mentioned that your information gets put into a CRiS database so you can access more than your Identification Number, and they can help out in many other situations:

  • You can use CRiS to access other documentation and information.
  • CRiS can help guide you in any process that deals with caravans, most notably buying and selling caravans. 

In the unfortunate case that your caravan gets stolen, it’s recommended that you call CRiS so that they can update their database and indicate that your caravan is stolen.

How to Transfer Ownership Of a Static Caravan?

Selling your caravan is often a natural part of your ownership cycle, but you should now know that selling your caravan isn’t as simple as selling a normal vehicle.

When selling your caravan, it’s important that you keep track of all the details and update the corresponding documents:

  • Before you decide to sell, you should make sure your caravan’s status is in good standing in terms of legal and financing.
  • While you sell, you need to make sure that you transfer and keep track of all the right information, most notably the CRiS Identification Number.
  • Ensure you discuss and confirm all the details with the buyer, such as whether you’re also transferring your license, which would have important consequences.

Before You Sell

Before you begin to sell, you should perform a few steps in order to get the process started. We mentioned how you should make sure that your caravan is in good standing, but you should also make sure that you have all your information and documentation ready. Not only are you going to be selling your caravan, but you also need to deal with the logistics of transferring the ownership and information accordingly.

When you sell a caravan, you need to share the correct information with the buyer so that they will be able to register their newly owned caravan properly. You should also do the financing and insurance work beforehand so that you’re prepared actually to sell your caravan whenever possible. 

During The Sale

Once you begin trying to sell your caravan to potential buyers, the process can vary greatly depending on both the seller and buyer. You’re most likely going to need to have a lot of discussion with the potential buyer in order to confirm all the details and procedures for the sales agreement. The process is not standardized, so in some cases, the selling may be a bit informal. However, there are still general rules that you should follow.


A big point of discussion between the buyer and seller will be over whether the license will also transfer or not. Selling your caravan is one thing, but transferring your license is an entirely different process depending on the type of license that the seller has. 

The National Caravan Council also has an industry Code of Practice that allows sellers to sell their caravan in a different way. For these cases, you’re going to have to evaluate your situation to determine what you want to do. 

How to Gain Ownership Of a Static Caravan?

If you want to buy a caravan and become an owner, you also need to go through a difficult process to make sure the ownership is transferred correctly.

Once you’ve determined which caravan you would like to buy, you need to make sure that the ownership information is correct and processed:

  • The absolute most important detail you need to check when buying a caravan is the CRiS Identification number.
  • Because caravans are prone to be stolen, you want to confirm that the information for the caravan and current owner matches.
  • You need to perform a systematic check of the caravan before you make the final purchase. Afterward, the actual Caravan Registration & Identification Scheme can be contacted to guide you along the process.

CRiS Check

A CRiS check is a type of inspection done before the purchase that will ensure the details and status of the caravan are correct and safe. This is mainly done to prevent you from buying a stolen caravan.

The general checks can be found on this table:

If an insurer has written off the caravanIf the caravan has any outstanding finance or debtsIf the caravan is marked as susceptibly prone to fraud or theft by the Security RegisterThe registered keeper detailsThe number of previous ownersThe make and model according to the CRiS Identification Number
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