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Can You Transfer Private Number Plates Between Cars?

If you have got a private number plate and thinking of buying a new car, you may be wondering “can you transfer private number plates between cars”? More often than not, the answer is yes. However, there are certain circumstances where you may fall into difficulty. Read our handy guide on how to transfer a registration number from one car to another for more information.


How to transfer a registration number from one car to another?

If your private number plate is currently fitted to another vehicle, the process can take longer than if it is brand new and unassigned. To remove a personalised number plate and transfer the registration from one car to another, you must put your number plate on retention – this can be done online or via the post. Read on to find out how to do this.

Keeping your number plate once it’s removed:

To keep your private number plate once you’ve removed it from your vehicle, you are required to fill out a V317 form (section B) to inform the authorities about what is happening with the plate. This form will give you options about what you want to happen to your number plate once it’s removed, such as transfer a private plate from one car to another, put it on retention or sell it.

It’s worth noting that the process of removing a number plate requires you to pay a one-off fee of £80. If you are transferring the private plate to a new car, you will need the new car’s log book (V5C) handy if you are filling out the form online or by post.

If you are applying online, the personalised number plate will be removed immediately (if your vehicle does not need an inspection). As soon as you’ve applied to remove your plate, you will be given a reference number – use this to transfer your private number plate between cars.

However, if you are completing the application by post, the number plate will be removed within two weeks (if your vehicle doesn’t need an inspection). You must send the following to the DVLA:

- V317 "transfer or retain a vehicle registration number" form

- Your vehicle’s log book (V5C) or the new keeper’s supplement with a completed V62 “application for a vehicle registration certificate V5C”

- £80 fee

Once your private plate has been removed from your old car, the next step is to assign the number plate, which allows you to begin the process of changing personalised number plates to a new car. 

To find out more about how to assign a number plate to a vehicle, read our blog post.


Photo credit: Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock


When may you fall into difficulty transferring private number plates between cars?


1) If it’s a non-transferable registration mark

Put simply, a non-transferable registration mark means it can’t be transferred to another vehicle. You will be notified if your car’s registration mark is non-transferable in your V5 log book, under the “Special Notes” section.

Often, there is some confusion over what this means for your car. It essentially means you can add a personalised number plate to your car, but you cannot transfer the original number plate to another vehicle.



2) If you’re fooling people into thinking your car is newer than it is

It is against the law to misrepresent the age of your car by making it appear younger by adding a personalised number plate. As an example, you are not authorised to put a 19 age identifier on a car that was registered in 2011. However, it is perfectly acceptable to assign a number plate with the age identifier “07” on a car that was registered in 2019.

If you are buying personalised number plates as a present for your friend, make sure you check their car’s registration date to ensure the number plate is compatible.

For more information about this, read our comprehensive guide to number plate rules.



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