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How to Transfer a Number Plate to a V778 Retention Document

If you are selling or scrapping your car and you want to keep your private number plate without transferring it to another vehicle, there is a simple process. You will receive a V778 retention document that shows you are the rightful owner of that number. Here’s how to do it.

How do you take a private number plate off a vehicle?

You can apply to the DVLA to remove a private or personalised number from a car, even if you don’t want to put it on another vehicle. Maybe you want to sell or scrap your car and you’re waiting for delivery of a new vehicle. Alternatively, you might just want to keep your valuable number as an investment or to use it at a later date.

To retain your right to ownership of the number, you need to remove it before you sell or scrap your vehicle. If you sell the car with your cherished number on the V5C log book, the new owner also becomes the owner of your registration number. To keep the number, you’ll need a V778 retention document.

How to apply

You’ll need to fill in form V317 and send it to the DVLA. You can also apply online unless the vehicle is in somebody else’s name. Along with the V317 form, you’ll need to enclose the vehicle’s V5C registration document. If the car is not in your name you should send a V62 application for a V5C and a completed green ‘new keeper’ slip. You’ll also need to enclose payment for the £80 transfer fee by check, postal order, or banker’s draft.

Vehicle eligibility

You are not permitted to keep a number beginning with ‘Q’ or ‘NIQ’. Your vehicle has to meet certain criteria to change the registration number.

It must:

  • Be registered with the DVLA in the UK
  • Be able to move under its own power
  • Be in a category that requires and MOT or HGV test certificate
  • Have been taxed or had a SORN in place continuously for the past 5 years
  • Be currently taxed or have a SORN in place

The DVLA will contact you if they require the vehicle to be inspected.

After you’ve applied

After you’ve applied and your application has been successful, your vehicle will usually have its original age-related registration reassigned to it. That happens as soon as your application has been approved, so you can no longer drive the car with the private plates on it. You will need to replace them with the original plates. You also need to inform your insurance company of the new number.

You will be sent a new V5C log book and the V778 retention document which gives you the right to keep that number for 10 years. If you don’t assign the number, you must renew your right to use it before the V778 expires.

If you decide to sell your number plate, you can request a free valuation from the experts at CarReg.