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Retaining a Registration (DVLA form V778)


Only a few DVLA number plate purchasers opt to invest in eye-catching plates for later use, for investment purposes, or even for gifts. These and other purchase types are most often represented by a V778 Retention Document.


Stated concisely, V778 Retention Documents are the DVLA forms used to maintain ownership of previously issued number plates without attaching them to vehicles. Once again, any of the above instances–and several others besides them–are well-suited for V778 Retention Documents.


The DVLA number plate retention process isn’t impossibly complex, but it does entail quite a bit of form work and coordination, the details of which are specified in the below text.


The Importance and Nuances of V778 Retention Documents


The first step towards retaining a number plate is applying for a V778 Retention Document; notably, though, the process must be undertaken by the owner of the vehicle that the number plate’s currently attached to.


In other words, if an individual wishes to sell a number plate, he or she will need to apply for a V778 Retention Document; the matter cannot be left to the purchaser, nor can plates simply be shipped to the new owner.


It’s also worth noting that non-sellers often retain number plates, for a couple key reasons. First, transferring a number plate onto an existing vehicle will return its current plate to the DVLA, unless it’s separately retained. Thus, anyone who’s bought a new number plate and wishes to use it, but doesn’t want to lose the current number plate, must apply for a V778.


Additionally, if the vehicle attached to a number plate isn’t operating well or is becoming a financial liability, it’s often easier for the owner to retain the number plate with a V778 Retention Document.


The V778 Application Process and the V317 Form


In order for a number plate to receive a V778 Retention Document, its corresponding vehicle must be registered with the DVLA, available for inspection by a DVLA professional (these inspections are rare), and vehicle tax must be up to date.


Also, the vehicle must be covered by a Ministry of Transport (MOT) test, a road-worthiness and emissions analysis that non-vintage vehicles are required to complete every year, or a heavy-goods vehicle (HGV) test.


Vehicles that aren’t operable (or being driven) must be equipped with “statutory off road notification” (SORN) status to have their number plates retained, though number plates can be retained only when the vehicle at-hand has been SORN for five or fewer years. It’s imperative that SORN vehicle owners retain their number plates within half a decade of declaring SORN status–assuming that they don’t wish to part with said plates.


Next, a V317 form must be completed. The V317 application allows number plate owners to either directly transfer their plates to different vehicles or retain them for 10 years, with a V778 Retention Document. (Retention documents can be renewed, but owners must do so within 28 days of the expiration date disclosed by the DVLA at the time of the initial retention. This period is typically a decade.)


Provided one has the required information (including a vehicle’s registration number, owner name, and, if applicable, “nominee,” or the person to whom the number plate is being transferred), the V317 is fairly easy to fill out. The process can be completed online or by post for a fee of £80.00.


It should be mentioned that precision and accuracy are of the utmost importance during the number plate retention process, as even a small mistake or oversight can cause a substantial delay.


Trusting SwiftReg with Your Number Plate Retention


At SwiftReg, our chief objective is providing customers with optimal purchasing experiences. In this vein, we’re proud to offer full-service retention assistance for all transactions. Whether you’re looking to get your new plates installed as soon as possible or hold onto them with retention documents, our trustworthy, knowledgeable team is standing by to lend a hand.


Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns, as we’re always happy to help. Here’s to finding the number plate of your dreams.

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