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Full information about transferring and retaining number plates can be found on the gov.uk website:
https://www.gov.uk/personalised-vehicle-registration-numbers/overview

Number plate on a vehicle

If your number plate is currently held on your vehicle then to transfer it from your car to that of the buyer is very straightforward.

You will both need to complete and sign the DVLA form V317 for both the "donor vehicle" (your car) and the "receiving vehicle" (their car)

Transferring a number plate from vehicle to vehicle

When you transfer a number plate from vehicle to vehicle- you will need to send the following to the DVLA

  1. V5 for both vehicles
  2. MOT's for both vehicles (if applicable)
  3. Photocopies of tax discs (originals will be requested later)
  4. Cheque payable to the DVLA for the transfer fee

How much does it cost?

To transfer a number plate from vehicle to vehicle costs £80 at the time of writing.

Transferring a number plate from vehicle to retention (retaining a number plate)

To transfer a number plate from your vehicle to a retention certificate you will need to complete form V778/1.

You must be the registered keeper of the vehicle to be "entitled" to the numberplate.

Simply complete form V778/1 and send to the DVLA along with

  1. V5C for the "donor" vehicle
  2. MOT certificate
  3. Copy of current tax disc- not the original
  4. Cheque for the £105 fee payable to "DVLA Swansea"

What happens next?

Once you have sent off these documents- it can take up to 4 weeks for the transfer to complete.

Once the transfer is complete you will be issued with new tax discs for both the number plate you transferred and the "original" reg number which is then applied to the donor vehicle.