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How to transfer a private number plate

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Transferring a private number plate from one car to another is pretty straightforward.

If you have a private car registration number, you may want transfer it directly to another vehicle, or remove it from the vehicle onto a Retention Document. The number plate transfer process is slightly different, depending on what you want to do.

But first things first: check whether you are able to transfer your private number plate. Take a look at the DVLA rules for number plate transfer.

Transferring a car number plate directly from one vehicle to another

You can transfer a car number plate directly from one vehicle to another. Follow our step-by-step guide:
  1. Complete DVLA form V317 Application to Transfer or Retain a Vehicle Registration Number. You can get this from your local DVLA Office, or download it here: number plate transfer form
  2. Take the completed form (or send it by post) to your local DVLA office with the following documents:
    • V5/V5C Vehicle Registration Certificate for each vehicle - original document
    • MOT certificate for each vehicle - original documents
    • Tax disc details - serial number and expiry date. We suggest you take a photocopy of the tax disc to avoid error.
  3. You may be asked to produce your vehicle at the DVLA office before the number plate transfer is approved
You'll find full instructions on the V317 form.

Transferring a private number plate to a Retention Document V778

If you are selling your vehicle, but don't have another vehicle to transfer the private number plate to, you can place it on a registration number Retention Document V778. Here's what you need to do:
  1. Complete DVLA form V317 Application to Transfer or Retain a Vehicle Registration Number. You can get this from your local DVLA Office, or ! download it here: number plate retention form
  2. Take the completed form (or send it by post) to your local DVLA office with the following documents:
    • V5/V5C Vehicle Registration Certificate for the vehicle - original document
    • MOT certificate for the vehicle - original documents
    • Tax disc details - serial number and expiry date. We suggest you take a photocopy of the tax disc to avoid error.
  3. You may be asked to produce your vehicle at the DVLA office before the number plate retention is approved.
You'll find full instructions on the V317 form.

How long to transfer a private number plate?

Transferring a private number plate (to another car or onto a Retention Document) takes a couple of weeks or so. The DVLA office may decide to inspect your vehicle before the number plate transfer is approved - this could slow things down a little. You should allow time for this if you are selling your car. Note: If the MOT or tax has run out, don't drive your vehicle to the DVLA office for inspection.
Don't complete the sale of your vehicle till the number plate has been transferred to another car or a Retention Document.

How do I get a replacement car number plate?

When you transfer a private number plate, you will need a replacement car registration number for the donor vehicle. When the transfer is approved, the DVLA will issue you with replacement registration number., and change the documents. All you will need to do is have the number plates made up. Replacement registration numbers are issued as non transferable - that means you won't be able to sell it. But you will be able to assign another private number plate to the car in the future.

How much cost to transfer a private number plate?

Current DVLA fees for transferring car registration numbers are as follows:

Transfer direct from vehicle to vehicle: £80
Transfer from vehicle to Retention Document: £105

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