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What Does Non-Transferable Registration Mark Mean?

Once you have purchased a new car, you may decide that you would like to add a personalised number plate to the vehicle. Often, when this is an older car, you may open your V5 log book document to find “non-transferable registration mark” written, but what does this mean?


What does “non-transferable registration mark” mean?

Simply, a non-transferable registration mark means it can’t be transferred to another vehicle and used as the car’s registration number. This is typically found on the front of a Registration Certificate under the “Special Notes” section.

There is often some confusion about what a non-transferable registration mark means for your car. Common questions include, am I able to have a personalised number plate on my car, or am I restricted? This is incorrect. In fact, it is perfectly acceptable for a car to have a personalised number plate added to their car with a "non-transferrable registation mark" written in the log book – the only difference is the original number plate cannot be transferred to another vehicle.


Why would a vehicle’s number plate be listed as “non-transferable”?

There are a number of reasons as to why a car may have “non-transferable registration mark” attached to their vehicle. There is a common misconception that “non-transferable” means that the car is written off, but this is not the case. Typically, a non-transferable plate arises where there is significant racing history associated with that car and registration number. It can also happen when a number has been transferred away and an age-related replacement is issued by the DVLA – this is why it is often found on old cars.

In other cases, this can happen when the original number is put back on a car that was re-registered. In this instance, the number could be highly valuable and DVLA would be giving it to you, hence why the vehicle’s number plate is “non-transferable”.

Avoid “non-transferable” plates when buying

Therefore, when it comes to investing in a private number plate – particularly when it is old and used – it is important to check the registration document to find out whether the plate has a non-transferable registration mark against it. If it does, then the registration mark cannot be transferred or retained.

Whenever you purchase any kind of private plate, it is important to ensure you are buying a legal number plate from a trustworthy supplier, to avoid being conned. As a result, it is advisable to ask for all documentation beforehand, to check for any possible problems, such as a "non-transferable registration mark" or whether it may have been stolen.

If you are still unsure, it is worth getting in touch with the DVLA and asking for more information about the number plate you have in mind.


You can contact the DVLA via this link.


V5 image credit (above): rigsbyphoto / Shutterstock | Feature image credit: james weston / Shutterstock

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