Number Plate Information
How much is my number plate worth?Click here for a free valuation, courtesy of National Numbers.
How long does a transfer take?Transfer times on registrations do vary. Some types can be dispatched and received by the buyer within 3 to 5 working days. Other registrations usually take between 3 to 5 weeks to complete (upon receipt of correct documentation, where appropriate), but ALL reg transfers can take up to a maximum of 12 weeks.
What are the basic regulations surrounding transfers?
- You can't use a mark to make a vehicle look newer than it is e.g. you can't assign a P registration to an M registration car. You are allowed to use an older registration.
- The donor vehicle must either hold both current MOT and tax; be taxed and MOT expired; MOT expired and tax expired less than six months.
- A donor vehicle must be subject to MOT testing at some time during its life.
- Registration marks legally are owned by the Secretary of State for Transport - it is the right to display the mark on a vehicle which is granted or transferred. If you pass on a vehicle to a new keeper, then you lose control of the registration mark.
- You can't put a cherished number onto a Q registered vehicle or use a Q in a personalised registration.
- Northern Ireland uses the letters I and Z but English registrations do not.
- Registration marks which have never been used on vehicles before are issued in the form of certificates of entitlement (V750). Like V778's, they are renewable annually for a fee of £25 per year. So if you find the registration you've always wanted, you can keep it on a certificate until you have a suitable car. Marks on certificates are ideal to give as surprise presents since the actual vehicle documents aren't needed until after the event, so you can give the certificate and a pair of plates, attractively wrapped.
- To assign a registration mark on a certificate to a vehicle, you need to take/post your registration document (V5), MOT (if applicable), current tax disc (or tax application) to your nearest Vehicle Registration Office (VRO) - usually in the telephone directory under "Transport, Dept. of". The assignment fee will already have been paid at the time of purchasing the mark, or placing it on a “retention”, so there will be no more costs to pay. You will be given back your tax disc showing the new mark (your old disc will be retained) and any MOT submitted re-stamped with the new registration. Your V5 will be sent to DVLA, Swansea for the new reg to be put on and then returned direct to you. The V5 will not show another keeper.
- The legal time in any registration transfer to actually change your number plates is when you have a current tax disc showing the new mark.
- In general the documents needed for a cherished transfer are: V5, MOT (if applicable), V317 (transfer form).
- These are requested by letter from dealers and then submitted to the DVLA on your behalf.
- When you take a cherished registration off your vehicle, you will be given back a registration mark suitable for the year of the car. Usually, nowadays, you will be given back the original mark. This simplifies DVLA records and, also, is better for drivers who have had their windows etched with the original reg. mark.
- A cherished number can be put onto a brand new vehicle. This involves either sending the appropriate entitlement certificate to the car dealer or by us requesting the application for first registration (V55) from the car dealer. The usual Department Of Transport fees are payable since you are choosing a special reg, not just taking one from the car dealer's association.
I cannot find the reg I want. Is it possible to find out who owns it?Not really. The only people who have access to that sort of information are the Police and the DVLA and neither of them will divulge it as it is covered by the Data Protection Act. The only hope you have got of finding the owner is if you spot the car on the road.
Can I mis-space characters on my number plate so it looks like a word or a name?Whilst there are certain characters that look similar to letters or words, (e.g. 1 and 3 together can look like a B, 13). It is illegal to try and mis-space the plate in any way. If the Police notice this, there can be a fine of up to £1000 levied against the offending individual.
What is the Retention Scheme?The Retention Scheme is where a registration mark is taken off a vehicle and placed onto a certificate of entitlement. This then allows the owner to transfer the plate to another vehicle at their convenience, and means that they can sell or scrap the donor vehicle. Only plates registered in Great Britain are eligible for this scheme. Plates from Northern Ireland cannot be put onto retention directly. They must first be registered in England, which will incur further costs.
More Information- Number Plate Info
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Number Plate History
- Number Plate Formats Explained
- Number Plate Jargon Explained
- Official DVLA Information
- DVLA Local Office Details