While planning for a new car over the existing one, people get worried about the only thing – their personalized number plate, whether it can be retained and reserved for future use or if it can be transferred to the new vehicle.

Here are the answers to all your queries regarding the retention of your favorite number plates:

How to retain a registration number?

Freezing upon the decision of changing the car and taking off the number plate, one needs to visit the DVLA website and apply for the transfer of the number plate from one vehicle to another, or can also keep it reserved for future use. Unless retained, the private number will be removed right away, and either the first registration number (based on availability) will be reassigned as a standby, or a new number will be assigned depending upon the age of the vehicle. Else, complete the V317 application form online and submit it to DVLA for retention of the private number plate.

How much is it going to pinch the pocket?

Well, its surely going to cost way lesser than what it takes to buy a customized number plate. It only takes £80 to apply for a number plate retention for both online and paper transactions. This fee will also reflect in V778, the Retention Document, post completion of the application process. No further charges are applicable when the applicant wishes to use the number plate on the desired car.

For online applications, payment can be made via credit or debit card, and for physical applications via banker’s draft, a cheque or postal order is accepted by the DVLA.

What are the guidelines for retention?

  • The vehicle for which the number plate was purchased must be registered with DVLA.
  • There should not be any note in the logbook (V5C) stating “non-transferable” and the number plate should not start with QNI or Q, because these will invariably make the registration non-transferable.
  • The SORN or tax must be paid for a consecutive term of 5 years without any breaches.
  • The car should be in proper condition and fit for testing with proper MOT.
  • There may be instances where the car may require to go through an inspection by the DVLA before issuing retention documents.

What is the process to follow for a number plate retention physically through the V317 application with DVLA?

Download the V317 application form and print off a copy of the same. The registrar will fill up sections 3,2 and 9.1. In case there is a demand to add on a nominee, then fill in 9.2. Both the nominee or a grantee is eligible for the assignment of a retained registration; however, it is the grantee who has the sole access to the registration. The complete application form and the original V5C should be sent to DVLA, Personalized Registrations, Swansea, SA99 1DS.

What are the documents required?

To apply for the retention of the personalized number plate, the V5C (logbook) is mandatory to possess for the existing car and would also require the eleven-digit Document Reference Number.

What is the procedure to apply online?

For online applications, visit the DVLA website and go through the instructions mentioned on their page and follow the same to apply for retention. Their services are available from 7 am to 7 pm.

Can the rights to registration be passed on to someone else?

Yes, the rights to registration can be passed on to the authorized grantee, as per the details mentioned in the V317 application form.

What are the consequences post the approval of retention of the number plate by DVLA?

Post the approval of the application, a new logbook or V5C will be granted for the car displaying the correct replaced registration and a V778 or Retention Document for the retained number plate, which usually reaches the car owner within a time span of two weeks. In case there is a requirement by the DVLA to inspect the car, then it may require four weeks to obtain the documents. Lastly, if there is a change request to allow someone else to retain the registration, that is, if there are any other name and address mentioned in the application form under section 9a for the grantee, the V778 will arrive at that address.

Hope this information has made it much more comfortable and saved considerable costs from buying new number plates and letting the old one bid goodbye with a heavy heart. Now, one can freely decide to get a new car and retain the existing private number plate.

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