How to Transfer Your Personalised Number Plate from One Car to Another

Investing in personalised number plates is a great way to show how much you care about your car. Be it personal or simply cool, a private reg can add that finishing touch you've been looking for. It's important then to ensure you retain that character when upgrading to your next car by transferring your personalised plates from old car to new. These simple steps will guide you through that process so you can continue making your mark on the road.

Changing your personalised number plate

1. Register your new vehicle

This may seem obvious, but you can’t transfer private plates to a car that doesn’t officially exist according to its paper trail. The DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency), which oversees all licensing and registration in the UK, must have a record of both the old and new vehicle. Once the new car is registered with the DVLA, there are a couple of further checks they require:

  • A recent MOT to ensure the roadworthiness of the new vehicle
  • The personalised plates cannot make the car seem younger than it is

The second of these requirements prevents sellers from putting false registration dates on older cars. This protects prospective buyers from scams and fraud.

2. Check your new V5C documents

Once you’ve completed the registration of your new car, it’s a short waiting game for the DVLA to send you the new V5C logbook. This can take up to six weeks to reach you, but it’s necessary for the next step. After you receive the V5C documents, take the time to quickly double-check that all of the details on your old and new V5C are correct – this will save you trouble at a later point.

3. Complete V317 form

Once all these checks are complete, you’re almost ready to slip those personalised plates onto your new car. The final step in transferring your private number plate from your old vehicle to your new one is to complete the V317 form. The V317 requires specific information about your old and new car:

  • Both cars’ registrations
  • Make and model
  • VIN number of both cars
  • Your contact details

This process costs approximately £80 and allows for a direct transfer of the plates from one car to another. You can complete the form online or by submitting a paper version via post.

4. Retaining your private plates for a future transfer

The V317 form has a secondary function: the ability to retain your personalised plates for up to ten years. This process is helpful if you’re not ready to transfer your plates onto a new car straight away, but would like to in the future. The form section you’re looking for in this instance is V778, again from the DVLA. The process requires the same information as outlined above but without the need for a new car. When you’re ready to transfer your private reg to your new car, the V778 form will make the process smoother and can be done via the DVLA website.

If you’ve managed to stay patient through all this paperwork, then you’ve earned those personalised plates. Slip them onto your new car and bring your unique stamp to the road.

The process is simpler than it seems, so don’t let the small print scare you off. Take your time and double-check all the fine details as you move through the process. The legal ramifications of skipping a step, or even rushing one, can come back to haunt you later on. If you manage to stay patient through the paperwork, then you’re ready to slip those personalised plates onto your new car and make your mark on the road.

Take a look at our expert advice if you’re thinking of selling a private number plate.


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