If you’re looking to transfer a personalised number plate, the process is straightforward. Despite a fair amount of form filling and documentation, paperwork doesn’t need to be painful. Our comprehensive guide includes everything you need to know for transferring a number plate or retaining it so that you can use it again in the future.

Can I transfer my number plate?

Before we get into the details, you should check whether you are eligible for a number plate transfer.

Registration transfers are managed by the DVLA. To be eligible for a registration transfer, your car (or another vehicle) must:

  • be registered with the DVLA.
  • have an MOT or heavy goods vehicle (HGV) test certificate.
  • be taxed (or been registered as SORN) continuously for the past 5 years.
  • be available for inspection (if the DVLA chooses to do so).

While transferring a cherished number plate is straightforward, you can’t move a newer plate to an older car or transfer a Q plate to another vehicle.

What are the different types of transfers?

There are three different types of registration transfer, all of which are covered by the V317 ‘transfer or retain a vehicle registration number’ form:

  • car-to-car transfers
  • transferring a registration you already hold to a new vehicle
  • retaining a cherished plate

We’ll go through each of these in more detail, so you’ll feel confident in what your next steps are.

Car-to-car Transfer

What is car-to-car transfer

Transferring registration plates from car to car involves changing your registration (and number plates) from one vehicle to another. Typically, this happens when you want to take your cherished plate from an existing car to a new one.

How do I transfer my number plate to another car

To transfer a number plate from one car to another, you’ll need the V5 registration forms for both vehicles, valid MOT certificates for both cars (if required) and pay a fee (currently £80).

The next step if you want to transfer your number plate from one car to another, is to complete the V317 form with all information discussed. You can download and print the form or complete it online. Both vehicle owners will need to sign the transfer form to show they are happy for the transfer to take place.

Once the DVLA has the information they need, they will begin the transfer process. On average, the process should take between 4-6 weeks, but it can take longer at periods of high demand.

Retention/Certificate to a vehicle

You can replace your existing registration plate on a vehicle with another that you hold on a Certificate of Entitlement (V750) or a Retention Document (V778).

To complete a registration transfer, you will need to complete the V317 DVLA form and provide details of the new registration plate. This is either the V750 Certificate of Entitlement for a registration that has not previously been used on a car or the V778 Retention Document if it has.

If you’re ready to transfer a private plate and your vehicle does not need an inspection, you can apply to assign a number online.

You’ll also need to provide a copy of the V5C registration document and pay an £80 fee. Timescales for the transfer are the same as a car-to-car transfer. At the end of the process, you’ll receive an updated logbook (V5) with the new registration details.

Vehicle to retention

If you have a cherished plate that you want to keep, but don’t have a vehicle you want to assign it to yet, then you’ll need to apply to remove the number plate from your vehicle.

You can do this by completing the V317 ‘transfer or retain a vehicle registration number’ form and include either the vehicle’s logbook (V5C) or green ‘new keeper’ slip with a completed V62.

You’ll need to pay an £80 fee, and you will receive a new logbook for the car with a new registration plate number and a V778 retention document for your cherished number plate.

With a V778 retention document or online reference number, you can use the number plate when you need to.

Where can I get the V317 form?

You can easily download and print a copy of the V317 form on the DVLA website here. On the DVLA website, you can find online forms which enable you to take a private plate off a vehicle and renew or replace your private registration plate.

How do I sell a car with a personalised number plate?

If you decide to sell a car with a personalised number plate you can choose to do the following:

  • Sell the number plate with the car.
  • Transfer the number plate to your new vehicle or another car you own.
  • Retain the registration for use on another vehicle.
  • Give up the right to a personalised number plate.

We've outlined the steps above which should help you transfer your number plate between vehicles.

If you choose to give up your personalised number plate, you’ll need to complete the relevant section in the V778 or V750 document and return it to the DVLA. You may be entitled to a return of £80 if you surrender your registration plate to the DVLA.


For further reading around number plates, see our survey findings on how much UK drivers know about them and the laws surrounding them. Or, continue reading for our answers to the most commonly asked number plate questions.

It currently costs £80 to transfer a number plate with the DVLA. You can complete the V317 form online or download and print it.

The DVLA estimates it takes between 4 – 6 weeks to transfer a number plate. However, the total time it takes depends on how busy the DVLA is.

Yes, you can keep your number plate if you sell your car. You need to let the DVLA know you want to do this by completing the V317 form. You can either transfer the number plate to a new vehicle or retain the number plate to use on a car in the future. The only exception is Q number plates, which must stay with the vehicle to which they were originally assigned.

At Halfords, a set of front and rear number plates costs just £32.50. You can order your new plates online for collection at your choice of Halfords stores.

You’ll need to provide details of ownership (V5) and prove your identity before you can collect your plates at your local Halfords store. If you’re in a rush (or don’t want to get your hands dirty), we can fit your new plates for you for £5 each.

Driving with incorrect number plates is an offence. If you drive your car with the wrong number plates displayed (or without any number plates), you can risk a fine of up to £1,000.

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