Some people view having a personal or private number plate as a sign of status, and they can become a much-cherished item. However, they can also cost a fair bit of money to have made, and even those who can afford to do that are unlikely to want to get rid of them when the time comes to sell their car. How exactly do you go about keeping your existing number plate and putting it onto another vehicle?
The DVLA handles the registration of all vehicles in the UK in addition to all car-related taxation and licensing, and you will need to fill in a form if you intend to move a licence plate from one vehicle to another. This is known as form V317 and comes with two available options:
1. Option A, to keep the registration number of the vehicle and have it applied to another.
2. Option B, to keep the registration on what is known as a retention document, allowing it to be kept for ten years, meaning that it does not have to be immediately placed on another vehicle.
The form can be filled out either online or on paper, but there are a number of requirements that will need to be met prior to the transfer taking place.
One of the main requirements is that such a vehicle actually exists. This may sound rather obvious and even silly, but if a car is unable to be registered to begin with, the DVLA cannot do anything to amend its registration plate. The car will also need to be in possession of a V5C registration document that lists you as its registered keeper, or at least says that you soon will be. There must be a “Statutory Off Road Notification” (SORN) declaration or road tax against it, and the car must be capable of moving without any assistance from other vehicles. It also needs to be available for inspection and able to pass a roadworthiness test such as an MOT.
The added registration should also not make it seem that the vehicle is younger than it actually is, a requirement designed to prevent shady car dealers from making old cars seem newer by fitting new plates and then selling them for more than their true worth.
Retaining a number plate
Another part of the form will need to be filled out if you are retaining your number plate – specifically, the details of the person that is retaining it. If left unfilled, the retention document will be automatically sent to the registered keeper. This document is form V778, which can transfer the registration to a new vehicle when you are ready to do so. The cost of retaining or transferring registration is currently around £80 and the process takes around two weeks. After that, you will receive a new V5C registration.
Personal number plates must be clearly legible and of standard issue – and don’t forget to check out the small print relating to tax.