Number Plate Transfer & Vehicle Registration Retention

Posted on 21 December 2017 by CarTakeBack

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How to Retain Your Personalised Number Plate

To some, a car’s registration number is just part and parcel of owning a car, but to others, it can mean more. If you’ve got a personalised reg and you want to retain your private plate when you sell your car, here’s what you need to do to assign your number plate to your new car with the DVLA; otherwise, when you sell your car, your number plate will go with it, whether you’ve personalised it or not.

What Is a Private Registration Number?

Private number plates on your car are a great way to personalise your vehicle and can help you and your car stand out from the crowd. You can simply buy a new number plate from the DVLA’s registered list and, as long as you follow the process of legally transferring your number plate (detailed below), your car will be registered under your new, chosen number plate.

You can’t use this as a way to make your car appear younger or newer, but personalised registration plates come in a range of formats; these are:

Current Style – for example NC56 ABC
Prefix Style – N456 ABC
Suffix Style – ABC 123N
Dateless Style – 1 ABC or ABC 1

Whilst the DVLA has loosened up the restrictions on privatised number plates, there are still limitations. These include cars that were registered overseas and cars that have the letter Q in their prefix.

Number plate to transfer

Transferring Personalised Number Plates Online

There are a few ways to transfer your number plate, one of which is doing it online.

Getting Started

You’ll need:

  • Your vehicle registration certificate V5C (that’s the logbook) for your old car (and for your new car if you’ve got one)
  • A credit or debit card to pay the £80 fee
  • Your certificate reference number – if you’re putting your personalised number plate onto your new car from your old car

Taking Your Registration Number Off Your Old Car

Go to the ‘Take a registration number off a vehicle’ page on the gov.uk website and select ‘start now’.
Next, fill in the details of your car, including the registration number, 11-digit document reference number and postcode.

Finish by adding in your payment details.

The DVLA will then assign the old car with a replacement registration and send you a new registration document (V5C) within three to five days.

Putting Your Registration Number onto Your New Car

If you have a new car and want to transfer your private plate to it, go to the ‘Put a registration number on a vehicle’ page on the gov.uk website and select ‘start now’.

Next, fill in your private registration number and tick ‘yes’ to show that you are the grantee/purchaser.
Complete the form with the details of your new car, including the registration number, 11 digit document reference number and postcode.

Finally, enter the certificate reference number that you were given when you were registering to remove the number plate from your previous car above.

The DVLA will send you a new registration document (V5C) within three to five days

new plate on new car

Transferring Personalised Number Plates via Post

If you’d prefer to complete this process via post, follow these steps to transfer or retain your registration plates.

Getting Started

You'll need:

  • To download DVLA form V317.
  • The vehicle registration certificate V5C (that's the logbook) for your old car (and for your new car if you've got one).
  • A cheque, banker’s draft or postal order made payable to DVLA Swansea to pay the £80 fee.

When you have completed these steps, choose from the following:

Transferring Your Plate to a New Car

In Section 1, tick the 'To transfer' box to show that you'd like to transfer the plate to a different car and in Section 2, fill in the details of your old car.

You will need to fill in the details of your new car in Section 3.

Finally, post the form back to DVLA along with the £80 fee and the registration documents (V5C) for both cars.

If you don’t have a new car to transfer your personalised number plate to:

In Section 1, tick the 'To retain' box to show that you'd like to keep the plate on a retention certificate and in Section 2, fill in the details of your old car.

If you wish to be the grantee (the one who has the right to the vehicle registration number), you will need to fill in your details in Section 3.

Finally, post the form back to DVLA along with the £80 fee and the registration document (V5C) for your old car.

What Happens Next?

The DVLA will assign the old car with a replacement registration and send you a new registration document (V5C) within two weeks.

As it could take up to two weeks, it’s advised not to begin the process of part exchanging your car or selling your current car with your number plate as if the sale goes through, you could still lose your number plates.

So as long as you follow the above steps and tell the DVLA before you sell your old car, your private plate will be safe.
Don’t forget to call your insurance company and inform them of any changes to your policy so they can update their records.

To find out more about switching your personalised number plate, check out gov.uk.

If you’re looking to personalise your car’s reg, ensure that wherever you buy the plate from has followed the DVLA’s rules and regulations and if you’re buying a car with a personalised number plate already on the vehicle, ensure that you have all the paperwork that was required to obtain the reg and that the current owner has followed the right procedure for allocating the personalised number plate to the car.

Bear in mind the cost of having a private number plate on your car, as this is not cheap. We recently took a look at some of the most expensive personalised reg plates in the world – check them out here.

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