How to transfer private number plate from vehicle to Retention Document
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How to transfer private number plate from vehicle to Retention Document

January 9, 2020

If you own a private number plate, and are
changing your car, you may wish to remove the registration number. If you don’t have
another vehicle to transfer it to straightaway, you can apply to put the registration number
“On Retention”. You can then hold the registration number on the Retention Document
until you are ready to put it onto another vehicle.
At, we know how confusing private number plate
can seem. That’s why we have compiled these short
video’s to help you through the paperwork. Here is our simple guide on:
How to transfer a private number plate from a vehicle to a retention document
The first thing you will need is a DVLA V317 form which you can find at your local DVLA
office or you can download it from the website. The link is also added to the information
section for this video. You will also need your V5 Registration Document
(sometimes also referred to as your log book). And you will need an up-to-date MOT certificate
(if you vehicle is over 3 years old), and a copy of your tax disc.
For full details regarding the terms for number plate retention, please refer to the
website. On the V317 form, you will need to complete
sections 1…. 2….. and 4. Start with completing section 1. To retain
your number plate, put a cross in the top box “to retain”, as shown here.
Now you will need the V5 Registration Document for the vehicle that you are transferring
the private number plate from. This is referred to as the DONOR vehicle. Open up the V5 Registration
Document to the 2nd page and place it next to the V317 form as shown here.
Now start to complete section 2 on the V317 form.
Enter the vehicle registration number from the V5 Registration Document onto the V317
form here, as shown by the red circles. Find the vehicle make and model here, and
enter the details on the V317 form here. Next, find the VIN / chassis number from the
Registration Document here, and enter it into the boxes on the V317 form here…again shown
by the red circles. Now you need the copy of your tax disc.
Write the serial number from the top of the tax disc into the boxes here on the V317 form,
Followed by the tax expiry date, and write it here.
You then need to add the name and address from the V5 Registration Document here, and
provide a telephone number should the DVLA need to contact you.
Next, sign and date the bottom of section 2 here.
Remember that this V317 form must be completed and signed by the person named as the Registered
Keeper on the V5 document. Now complete Section 4 on page 2 of the V317 form.
Decide how long you would like to put the private number plate on retention for. You
can choose to hold the registration number on Retention Document for 1,2 or 3 years.
Now decide who should have the rights to the registration number. This could be you, as
the registered keeper of the donor vehicle. Or you can decide to transfer those rights
to another person. If you are to be the owner, put a cross in
the ‘yes’ box. If you are transferring the rights to another
person, put a cross in the ‘NO’ box, enter the other person’s details here, and have
them sign the form here. If it’s possible that you may (at a later
date) transfer the private number plate onto a vehicle in another person’s name, enter
their details in the nominee section. Or you can leave it blank.
Remember that the ‘nominee’ has no rights to change the details-this remains with the
Grantee [see the website for full details].
You now need to submit the V317 form, with full V5 registration document, an up-to date
MOT certificate, and a photo-copy of your tax disc.
You will also need to enclose payment for the retention fee. This will vary, depending
on how long you have asked to place the private number plate on retention for. The DVLA fee
details are on the V317 form. Submit these to your local DVLA Office. You
can either send them by post, or take them in person. You will find a full list of local
DVLA offices on the website.
Once the private number plate retention has been approved, the DVLA will send a V778 Retention
Document for the private registration number. This could take 2-4 weeks.
The DVLA will allocate a replacement registration number for the donor vehicle.
You can then have number plates made up for the replacement registration number, and put
them on the donor vehicle. They will also supply a replacement V5
Registration Document, MOT Certificate and tax disc.
Remember that the V778 Retention Document for your private number plate has an expiry
date. If you do not assign the private registration number to another vehicle before the expiry
date, the person named as Grantee must apply to the DVLA to extend the Certificate. DVLA
fees apply. To assign the private number plate to a vehicle
at a later date, see our video ‘How to transfer a private number plate from V778 Retention
Document to a vehicle”. If you have found this video useful, please
subscribe to the comparenumberplates video channel, and click the like button.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. but how long does this take? The dvla arent very forthcoming with being able to give me a set turnaround period for this and also what happens if i need to tax my car before my logbook etc are back

  2. Transferring a number plate from a car to a Retention Document can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks. You should allow 4 weeks. If you need to tax the car in the meantime, you'll need to plan this around the timings, allowing for the time taken to do the transfer. If you have less than a month before tax is due, then tax the car BEFORE you send off the application for number plate retention.

  3. Im going to be putting my plate on retention, whilst im waiting for my new V5 to come through can i still trade my car in or sell it privately without losing my plate??


  4. Under the current DVLA rules the you can still do this provided the tax and mot ran out less than 12 months ago. And the car was declared SORN with no gap….in other words as soon as the tax ran out. Also, if you applied for a tax refund (rather than it running out) then you cannot retain the registration number. Send the expired mot certificate with your application. And expired tax if you have it.

  5. Very clear and concise, thanks. However, its a real pain that I have to tax and MOT my near-scrapworthy car just to transfer a plate. No MOT, no transfer. ££££

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