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Number plate jargon

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general faq’s | buying faq’s | selling faq’s


Private number plates can seem a bit confusing. With so many number plate forms and terminology, it's not surprising it can be a bit difficult to steer your way through. So here is our helpful little list of all those words and phrases you might come across when you are looking at private number plates.

What is a number plate Age Identifier (year identifier)?

What is a number plate age (year) identifier?

When number plates were first issued in 1903, they were allocated as they were needed. But these began to run out as the number of cars increased. From 1963, all registration numbers issued had a year identifier. The identifier tells us the year the registration number was issued. For instance, prefix style number plates have a year identifer as the first letter of number plate. The year identifier is in a different place, depending on the number plate style. Here you'll find a full list of car registration number dates.
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What is the number plate Assignment Fee?

The DVLA charge a fee for assigning a registration number to a car. This fee is usually payable at the time you buy a registration number, whether you buy the number plate privately, through a number plate dealer, or direct from the DVLA. The fee depends on whether the registration number is on a vehicle, on a Retention Document, or V750 Certificate of Entitlement, when you buy it. These fees are often referred to as DVLA fees or DoT fees. You may also be interested in: how to assign a personalised number plate.
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What is the CNDA - Cherished Numbers Dealers Association?

The Cherished Numbers Dealers Association (CNDA) is a trade association for dealers in private number plates. It's members consist of some of the number plate dealers. It's not necessary for a number plate comapny to belong to the CNDA. The CNDA is effectively a self-regulating body.
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What is DVLA - Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency?

The DVLA is an Executive Agency of the Department for Transport (DfT). The DVLA (previously known as the DVLC) is responsible for administering assignment of registration numbers to vehicles, and all changes of ownership.
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Where is my DVLA Local Office?

The DVLA has local offices throughout the UK. Your DVLA Local Office can deal with most queries, assigning registration numbers, and number plate retention, as well as a number of other activities. You can also obtain DVLA number plate forms from your local office.
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What is a Donor Vehicle?

If you are transferring a personalised number plate from one vehicle to another, the vehicle you are transferring it from is referred to as the donor vehicle. The vehicle you transfer to is called the recipient vehicle.
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What is a Grantee?

The Grantee is the person named on the V778 Retention Document. Note: this is not the same as nominee. The grantee has the rights to add / change the nominne name, assign the registration number, or extend the certificate, etc.
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What is a Nominee?

The nominee is the 2nd person named on either the V750 Certificate of Entitlement, or the V778 Retention Document. The nominee has limited rights to the registration number. They cannot, for instance, apply to extend a certificate or change the nominee name. This must be done by the grantee (on V778) or purchaser (on V750).
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What are Prefix, suffix, dateless, new style, Irish number plates?

There are several different number plate styles (or types). Registration numbers issued before 1963 are referred to as dateless as they have no age identifier. Suffix, prefix, and new (current) style number plates all have an age identifier which restricts the vehicles to which they can be assigned. Irish number plates do not have an identifier, which makes them a popular low-cost option.
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What is a Purchaser?

The Purchaser is the person named on the V778 Retention Document. Note: this is not the same as nominee. The purchaser has the rights to add / change the nominne name, assign the registration number, or extend the certificate, etc.
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What is a Recipient Vehicle?

If you are transferring a personalised number plate from one vehicle to another, the vehicle you are transferring it to is referred to as the recipient vehicle. The vehicle you transfer from is called the donor vehicle.
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What is a V5 / V5C Log book?

The V5 / V5C document (often referred to as the log book) is the blue 4-page document showing the registration number and other details of the vehicle, and its registered keeper.
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What is a V317? Application to Transfer or Retain a Vehicle Registration Number

The V317 "Application to Transfer or Retain a Vehicle Registration Number" is the DVLA form you need to remove private number plate from your vehicle. You can use this form to either transfer a personalised number plate to another vehicle, or retain a personalised number plate.
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What is a V750 Certificate of Entitlement?

If you are transferring a from one vehicle to another, the vehicle you are transferring it from is referred to as the donor vehicle. The V750 is initially valid for 12 months, when first issued. You (as the Purchaser) can later extend it for up to 3 years. You can continue to extend the certificate until you are ready to assign it to a vehicle. If you decide to allow the entitlement to expire, you can apply for a refund of the Assignment Fee. See back of V750 for full details.
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What is a V778 Retention Document?

The V778 Retention Document (also sometimes referred to as Retention Certificate) allows you to hold a registration number on a 'certificate' if you are not ready to assign it to a vehicle. This is common practice when an owner is changing vehicles, or selling the registration number. You may also be interested in how to retain a personalised number plate.
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