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How to transfer a personalised number plate

Owning a private number plate is a sign of prestige for many, like signifying a business name, or even just for fun. If you are in possession of a private plate there may come a time where you need to transfer or change the number. If you have recently bought a new private registration you will need to have it assigned to your vehicle.


Already have your private number plate? You will need to follow the necessary steps to perform a DVLA number plate change. In the event that you have decided to sell your personalised number, you will need to take the appropriate measures to legally transfer the private plate to its new owner.


How to:


Transfer a private number plate from car to car

Assign a new number plate to your car

Request a Certificate of Entitlement (V750) for a vehicle

Request a Retention Document (V778) for a vehicle

How to transfer a private number plate from car to car


When transferring a private number plate from one car to another there are certain steps that must be followed to complete a DVLA number transfer successfully. Essentially it is a 2-part process, with part 1 being the removal of the private plate from a vehicle, and part-2 assigning the plate to the new vehicle.


How to get started


For a vehicle to be eligible for transfer, there are specific requirements that need to be met. The vehicle must be:


• Registered with the DVLA 

• Be operable (meaning it can move under its own power)

• Be available for inspection.

• Have a current MOT, (or in the case of HGV vehicles, an HGV test certificate.) 

• Proof of tax for the past 5 years (or currently have a SORN in place - Standard Off Road Notification). 

• Registration numbers that begin with ‘NIQ’ or ‘Q’ cannot be retained.




Applications to remove the plate from the original vehicle can be made online on the DVLA website with the form V317and a transaction fee of £80. The vehicle's logbook (V5C) must be in your possession, and if the vehicle does not require inspection, the private number will be immediately removed.


A retention reference number will be supplied immediately on completion, of which can then be used to assign the private plate to the new vehicle using the DVLA’s online service. 


If the private number is to be used at a later date, a retention document will be issued (V778) along with a new logbook by post. If the number is to be assigned to a new person, or surrendered, the V778 will be used to complete this transaction.


By post


Alternatively, applications can be made using the postal service and although this way will take a bit longer the cost remains the same at £80. You will need the following documents for the DVLA reg transfer to be completed.


• Form V317 for transfer or retention of the vehicle registration number.

• V5C vehicle logbook (or V62 new keeper document)

• £80 transfer fee


Once the application is received the vehicle's original registration number will be automatically reinstated and you will receive a V778 retention document for the private number and a new logbook (V5C) for the vehicle. 


To assign your private number to a different vehicle the V778 and V5C must be sent with a completed V62 application for a vehicle registration certificate.


How long does it take to complete the transfer?


The process can be completed in just a couple of minutes when completed online. A reference number will be provided on the removal of the private plate from the vehicle. This reference number may then be used to assign the private plate to a new vehicle immediately online using the DVLA portal.


By post, the process takes much longer with numbers being unassigned and reassigned to another vehicle in 2 different applications which can take around 2 weeks on average. Receipt of a new logbook can take 4-6 weeks.

How to assign a new private number plate to your car.


To assign a brand new private number to your vehicle the process is relatively straightforward. Vehicle requirements remain the same, it must have:


• An MOT

• Be operable,

• Have proof of tax

• Available for inspection. 


On purchasing a new private number plate from a dealer or individual you will need to assign the private plate to your vehicle. For purchases of a brand new vehicle, the car dealer will often perform this task for you if the vehicle has not yet been registered.


Any numbers used must meet the eligibility requirements as specified by the DVLA.  Any number beginning with ‘NIQ’ or ‘Q’ cannot be used nor can a number be assigned to a Q registered vehicle (vehicles with questionable age or identity). It is also not permissible to assign any number that would make a vehicle appear newer than it really is.


Assigning a number to a new vehicle can be performed either online or by post, whichever method is used the transaction is free. 




To assign your new private number online you can enter vehicle information via the DVLA portal. Current registration number and logbook information will be required along with other details. If the vehicle is one that has just been bought then you will need to wait to receive the updated V5C logbook before performing the transaction. If the vehicle does not require an inspection the new private number will be assigned immediately.


By Post

Assigning a new private number by post will require you to submit the vehicle logbook (V5C), proof of registration entitlement or retention, and V62 application for a vehicle registration certificate. After your private number plate is successfully assigned you will receive a new vehicle logbook.

How long does it take to assign the new private number?

To assign a new number to your vehicle using the DVLA website service takes just a few minutes with the new number being assigned to your vehicle immediately.

By post, the new number assignment takes much longer with a new logbook taking 4-6 weeks to arrive. However, the car can be driven on the new plates as soon as the application is approved, there is no need to wait until the logbook is received.

Certificate of Entitlement (V750) to a vehicle


A certificate of entitlement or V750 is the document issued by the DVLA for brand new vehicle registration. This certification is used to issue  registration numbers that have never been previously used. The V750 document can be used to assign your private number plate to your vehicle. As with other methods, the vehicle must have an MOT certificate, be taxed, and driveable. Assigning a number to your vehicle from a V750 form is free of charge.



In most cases, the new private plate can be easily assigned to your vehicle online. However, should the DVLA deem that an inspection is required it could delay your application. You will need to supply information from the V750 form and the vehicle logbook (V5C). Provided all the information is correct, your new number plate will be assigned immediately and an updated logbook sent to you.


By Post


Using a V750 retention form by post to assign private plates to your vehicle takes a bit longer than the online option. You will need to supply the V750 form, a V62 application for a vehicle registration certificate, and the vehicle logbook (V5C). The new number will be assigned to your vehicle once the application is processed.


How long does it take?

As with most other processes that are performed on the DVLA website, using a V750 to assign your new private number plates takes just a few minutes. Provided no inspection is required the new number will be immediately assigned.


Postal applications will take longer with new numbers being assigned typically within a 2 week period. This can take longer if the DVLA requires an inspection of the vehicle to be performed.

Retention Document (V778) to a vehicle


A V778 retention document remains valid and allows you to assign a number plate to a vehicle for up to 10 years. All vehicles must be roadworthy MOT’d and taxed to have a private plate assigned. If you have held a number and need to assign it to a vehicle using a V778 you can accomplish the task in 2 ways, and both are free.



Using the information documented on the V778 form you may assign a number to a vehicle via the DVLA portal. You will need to provide information from the form and vehicle details from the VC5 logbook. Once completed the number will be assigned to your vehicle immediately providing that an inspection is not required.


By Post


Postal applications will take longer and still require the information from the V778 retention for and V5C vehicle logbook along with a V62 application for a vehicle registration certificate. If all the information is satisfactory the new number will be assigned and can be used on your vehicle.


Length of time


Using a V778 or a V750 to assign a new private number plate to a vehicle can be done instantly online by using the DVLA website.


Assignment of numbers by post takes a bit longer with numbers typically being assigned to vehicles in a couple of weeks.


Both processes can be delayed should the DVLA require a vehicle inspection. 

Final steps after transfer


After the transfer a new private number plate is completed you will need to complete some additional steps. 

• Do not sell the vehicle until the new logbook (V5c) is received

• Inform your insurance company of changes

• Update the registration number on automatic payment accounts (emissions or congestion charges)


Making sure that all your information is updated correctly will ensure that any change or transfer of private number plates through the DVLA goes smoothly.

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