Transfer a personalised number plate

How to transfer a personalised number plate from your old car to your new one

BuyaCar team
Nov 3, 2021

Own a personalised number plate, but not sure what happens when you decide to buy another car? Don't worry about losing your cherished plate, because transferring it across is a straightforward process.

Personalised number plates are a great way to add an extra slice of character to your car without having to resort to aftermarket modifications and body kits to help it stand out. The latter can void the warranty and increase insurance costs, while potentially making it harder to sell a car again in future.

Private plates can help to make the car more identifiable by including your initials, or even showcase your favourite slogan or catchphrase, while others do it to mask how old their car is. Whatever your reasons for wanting a personalised number plate, they're simple to register, and just as easy to transfer to a new car.

One important tip: it's illegal to make a vehicle look newer than it is by giving it a registration number that is younger than the vehicle itself. For example, you can’t put an '07' plate on a car registered in 2003. Just as important, don’t forget to tell your insurance company about the change of plate.

Where to get a personalised number plate

You can buy a personalised number plate from somebody else who no longer wants it, from the DVLA’s Personalised Registrations department, or from one of the many independent sellers of personal number plates. Depending on the number plate’s appeal, prices range from a few hundred pounds to many thousands.

The DVLA even has a dedicated website highlighting all of the number plates coming up for sale in upcoming auctions. Once you've purchased a personalised number plate, the next step is to register it to your car using the DVLA's process and notify your insurers. After that, you're good to go.

Alternatively, you may already own your perfect number plate, in which case you only need to worry about how to transfer it to another vehicle.

How to transfer a personalised number plate

You need to download DVLA form V317. On it you’ll need to give the details of the vehicle you’re transferring the number plate from, and the vehicle you wish to transfer it to. This form also allows you to retain the private number plate without transferring it to another vehicle.

Both vehicles must be registered with the DVLA, available for inspection if the DVLA requires, and of a type that needs an MoT test certificate. Both vehicles should also be taxed. However, if the vehicle that currently has the registration number is not taxed, you can still apply as long as its vehicle tax ran out in the past 12 months and there was no break between the date the vehicle tax ran out and the start of the SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification).

Complete the form and send it with the vehicles’ registration documents (V5C) or new keeper supplement (V62) or, if it’s a new, unregistered vehicle, with form V55, and the fee of £80.

All being well, the personalised registration number will be transferred from the old vehicle and onto the new one. Alternatively, if you haven’t yet chosen a vehicle to assign the number to, it will be held in your name on V778 certificate of retention until you’re ready. This lasts for 10 years but can be extended for a further 10.


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