Private number plates are popular with people who want to make their car look extra special.
Particularly if you have just purchased a used vehicle, it is more than likely that you will want to add that personalised touch to make it stand out from the crowd.
However, it is much more complicated than just purchasing a number plate and attaching it to your car. You are legally required to register as the owner of the plate and then assign it to your vehicle.
Here at Click4Reg, we understand that knowing which paperwork to fill in and where to access this paperwork can seem like a daunting task. This guide will help you get your personalised number plate on your vehicle as quickly as possible and get you out driving on the road.
Getting your private number plate onto your newly bought used car
Whether you have purchased your private number plate from the DVLA, via a dealer or privately, there are a number of steps that you will need to complete to legally ensure you can drive your newly bought used car with your personalised number plate.
1) The used vehicle must first be registered in your name, which can be done as an application for personalised vehicle registration via the DVLA website or in writing.
2) Once your private plate is purchased and registered, the DVLA will issue you with a V750 certificate which proves your ownership of the plate.
3) Before you attach them to your vehicle, you need to apply to assign your private plate to your car.
4) Once the DVLA has approved the application, you will need to physically fit the number plate to your car, as it is not legal to drive on public roads without them.
5) Then you need to notify your insurance company that you have changed your number plate.
Once the DVLA has sent you a new V5C document that acknowledges you own the new number plate, it is recommended that you hold on to the original number plate. This is because, if you come to sell the car but wish to retain your private number plate, you will need to re-fit the original number plate onto the car before selling it to someone else.
You are also required to notify the DVLA if you sell your car with a private plate, transfer them to another vehicle, or stop using them altogether.
Can I fit a private number plate onto any used car I have bought?
Private number plates can be fitted to most ordinary cars, but with certain conditions, including that the vehicle must:
• Be registered in the owner's name with the DVLA
• Be able to move under its own power
• Have a valid MOT certificate
• Have a valid tax or had SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) in place continuously for the past five years
Transferring a private number plate from one vehicle to another
If you have purchased a used car and want to transfer your private plate to it, you will need to apply to have them removed from your existing vehicle first.
This is similar to the process previously stated for assigning the plate to your car, which can be done as an application for personalised vehicle registration via the DVLA website or in writing.
Alternatively, you can complete a V317 form. This form can be used for either of the following scenarios:
1) You wish to take the vehicle registration number off one vehicle and put it straight onto another one
2) You wish to take the vehicle registration number off a vehicle and keep it on a retention document for up to 10 years
There is a charge of £80 for this, and you will need the car's V5C registration certificate in order for this to be completed.
Once done, the car's original registration number is automatically reassigned to the vehicle, and the old number plate is reattached before being driven on the roads. This is why we advise you to keep them safe!
As before, you will receive a new V5C document outlining the car's original registration number as well as a V778 retention document, which proves the private number plate still legally belongs to you. This allows you to use them for another vehicle in the future should you wish to do so.
Can you still transfer a private number plate without the necessary documentation?
If you have just purchased a used car but haven't received the new V5C registration document in your name, then no need to worry - you can still apply to transfer your private number plate.
You will need the following documents:
DVLA V62 - you should fill in this form to apply for a vehicle registration certificate (V5C) if it has been at least four weeks since you purchased the vehicle and you have not yet received the V5C certificate, or the original V5C has been lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed.
Please note: You should not fill this form in if your vehicle has been categorised as A or B salvage, as the DVLA will not issue a V5C for these classifications. They should not be driven on the road.
V5C/2 green slip from registration document - if you are the registered new keeper of the vehicle, you should have this section of the previous V5C registration document. Simply fill it out and send it back to the DVLA along with the V62 form stated above.
Read more about this in our comprehensive guide to registration documents.