How To Assign a Personal Number Plate To a Vehicle

If you have recently bought a new car, you may want to treat yourself to a brand-new personalised number plate. But you might be wondering how on earth you can transfer a new number plate to your vehicle? You will be pleased to know that the process for doing this is fairly straightforward and can be completed via post or even online.

You can purchase private number plates either on a Retention Certificate or transfer directly to a vehicle, so if you currently have your registration on a Certificate of Entitlement or Retention Certificate, read on to find out exactly how to assign a private number plate to your car.

Contents of this article include the following:

  1. 1. How to apply to assign a number plate to your car?
  2. How to transfer a registration number from one car to another?
  3. How does it work if I want to give a personalised number plate as a gift?

When it comes to purchasing a new number plate for your car, you can buy a private number plate from a private company or individual. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to bring any documents with you – you only need to have the correct documentation to get a number plate made once you are ready to assign the private number plate to your vehicle.

Once the plate has been successfully bought, you will have one of the following:

  • Your retention document (V778)
  • Your Certificate of Entitlement (V750)
  • An online reference number

Either one of these will prove that your number plate is owned by you.

1. How to apply to assign a number plate to your car?

When it comes to assigning a number plate to a car, the vehicle must be registered to you. Then you can begin the process of transferring the number plate to your vehicle – either online or via post.

If you go into a company and purchase a personalised number plate in the flesh, most will transfer the number to your vehicle for you – free of charge. However, if you purchase a plate online, or want to keep or assign the number plate yourself, ask the company for a V750 or V778 certificate so you can complete the process at home. But how do you go about putting a private plate on a new car? We’ve got you covered:

How to assign a private number plate online?

Screenshot of website application to assign a private plate to a vehicleToday, if you wish to assign, or transfer a reg plate from one car to another, the easiest and quickest way is online via the website. Whether your car is registered to another vehicle or held on a Certificate of Entitlement (V750) or Retention Document (V778), it can take as little as five minutes.

You are not required to pay a fee to do this, but you must ensure all your documentation is in order. This includes having a valid V778 document, or a V750 certificate that hasn’t expired.

Bear in mind that if you have recently bought the vehicle and are not the registered keeper, you must wait until you have the complete up-to-date V5C log book.

Once the application has been accepted by the DVLA, you will receive a confirmation email with a number plate authorisation certificate (eV958). If you already have your plates, make sure they are fitted as soon as possible. But remember, before driving with your new plates, you must tell your insurance company that your registration number has been changed, otherwise you will not be insured.

However, if you need to have your new plates made up, you can go ahead once you have received your new log book (V5C) or using your V750/V778 certificate at a DVLA approved number plate supplier. You can also use the number plate authorisation certificate (eV958) as confirmation too.

How to assign a private number plate by post?

If you do not have access to the internet, you can also submit your paperwork to the DVLA by post, but this can take considerably longer. In some cases, sending the documents by post is necessary as you may get a message stating the following:

  • This registration number cannot be assigned” or;
  • We need to look into your application further due to the vehicle’s licensing history”

How long does it take to assign a private number plate?

After you assign a private number plate to your car, you will be sent a new log book in the post – otherwise known as a V5C – which can take up to 4 to 6 weeks to arrive. But don’t worry, you don’t have to wait over a month to use your plates; you can use your new plates straight away, once your application has been approved.

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

Number plate on a red car.

Photo credit: Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock

If your private plate is in situ on another vehicle, the process is slightly longer and must be processed in two simple stages. You might be wondering “how to remove a personalised number plate?” – to do this, you must put the plate on retention (online or via post).

To keep your registration number plate once you remove it, you are required to fill out a V317 form (section B) to notify the authorities that the plate will be removed. The form will give you a range of options for what you want to happen to the number once it’s removed, such as transfer a private plate from one car to another.

The process of removing a number plate requires you to pay a one-off fee of £80. If you are transferring number plates to a new car, you will need the vehicle’s log book (V5C) handy. If you apply online, the personalised number will be removed immediately (if your vehicle does not need an inspection). As soon as you’ve applied to remove your plate, use the reference number you get after you apply.

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 it has been removed, 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.

UK number plate format

Photo credit: james Weston / Shutterstock

3. What happens if I want to give a personalised number plate as a gift?

If you would like to gift a personalised number plate, it is much easier than you may think. The process is similar to if you would do if you were purchasing a personalised number plate of your own.

When it comes to purchasing a personalised number plate, like if you were choosing for yourself, you don’t need any vehicle documents. These are only required for the transfer of the registration which can be completed by the gift receiver at a later date. After you have picked the perfect reg plate, the personalised plate will be added to a certificate which will have your name as the “purchase” and the gift receivers name as the “nominee”.

You can request to have the plate delivered to an address – either your own or the receivers. But if you are not ready to gift the plate so early, you can keep a hold of the number plate for a year, free of charge. After one year, you will be charged £25 by the DVLA to renew it.