By: Rebecca Ives
Personalised registration numbers can be purchased online from the DVLA or at auction. Each registration costs a different amount depending on popularity and they usually start from £130.
You can only purchase a personalised registration number if the vehicle you intend to use it on is registered, taxed and used in the UK.
You will, however, be unable to make the vehicle appear newer than it is, so you wouldn’t be able to place a 2017 plate on a 2014 vehicle.
When you buy the registration number this means you are buying the right to assign the number to a vehicle you have registered, or to a nominee.
DVLA hold auctions around 6 times a year and you are able to bid online, by phone, in writing or in person.
Once you have successfully bid on and purchased a registration plate you will receive a V750 certificate. This will prove that you have the right to use a private number plate.
Private registration numbers are also sold by third parties and private owners. However you make your purchase, always ensure you get either a V750 or V778 document to prove that you have the right to use it.
You will need to have either a V778 retention document, V750 certificate of entitlement or an online reference number to assign your private registration number to a vehicle.
If you already own the vehicle, you must be the vehicles registered keeper and have the log book. The vehicle must also be registered with the DVLA in the UK, available for inspection and be a type of vehicle that needs an MOT or has a HGV test certificate.
You are also unable to assign registration number that begins ‘Q’ or ‘NIQ’. Q plates signify that the vehicle’s age or origin cannot be identified and, as such, cannot be transferred to another vehicle. NIQ plates are the Northern Ireland equivalent.
This service is free of charge and you will get a new log book from the DVLA after assigning the private number. You must have new number plates displaying your new registration put on the vehicle before you drive it anywhere.
If you want to assign a private registration number to a brand new vehicle you are able to ask your dealer to do this for you by giving them the V750 or V778 document. The dealer is also able to transfer the registration number from a vehicle you own to a vehicle you are purchasing. Again both vehicles must be of a type that needs an MOT or HGV test certificate.
You will be unable to sell or dispose of a vehicle until you receive a new log book.
If you no longer want to use a personalised registration that you own then you can apply to remove it from your vehicle.
Alternatively, you can keep it until you want to use it again, which is often referred to as putting it on ‘retention’. If you do this you will get a V778 certificate proving that you are still eligible to use it. You will need to keep the V778 certificate safe as it will prove that you have the right to use the number for the next ten years.
You can remove a private registration from a vehicle online and by post for a fee of £80. If the registration number is not applied to another vehicle within six years then you can apply to have the fee refunded.
You are also able to remove the number if the vehicles tax has expired within the last 12 months or there is no break between the date the tax runs out and when you registered the vehicle as being off the road.
Once this has been done your vehicle will be assigned a new registration number meaning that you will have to get new registration plates made.
In order to assign the registration number from one vehicle to another you will need to have the V778. If you are using the online service you will be able to assign it to another vehicle straight away by using the online reference number. You can also use the V750 certificate of entitlement to change the number.
Once you have transferred the registration number to another vehicle you own, the DVLA will send you a new log book for that vehicle detailing the new registration number. You are not able to sell or get rid of the vehicle until you are in possession of the new log book.
If a personalised number plate is not being used then you will need to renew this every ten years. If you purchased the number plate before 2015 then it will need to be renewed more often. You can find this information on you V750 or V778 document.
You will get a reminder letter or email if you are not using the registration number and it is about to expire. It is important to keep your details up to date so that you do not miss any correspondence. You are able to renew your registration for a maximum of 10 years, free of charge.
For further information we recommend you visit a reputable source such as the gov.uk website.
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