Private Number Plates

Taking a private registration off a vehicle

You can apply to take a private number off a vehicle for the following reasons:

  • To keep the number for later use
  • To assign it to another vehicle

You cannot keep a number starting with ‘Q’ as this is for imported vehicles or modified vehicles

The original registration number issued to a vehicle is reassigned to the vehicle in 99% of cases in removing a private number from the vehicle

If your application to remove a private plate is successful you will receive a V778 retention document and a new log book (V5C) from DVLA.

If you are looking to scrap the vehicle then you must have received the V778 and new log book before you scrap the vehicle – otherwise you’ll lose entitlement to the private plate.

You should also make sure you do this before selling your vehicle as you will also lose entitlement to the registration when the registered keeper’s name is changed to the new owner.

Vehicle Eligibility

The vehicle must:

  • be registered with DVLA
  • be able to move under its own power
  • be of a type that needs an MOT or heavy goods vehicle (HGV) test certificate
  • have been taxed or had a SORN in place continuously for the past 5 years
  • be taxed (or have a SORN in place – if it’s had a SORN for more than 5 years, it must be taxed)
  • be available for inspection should this be required

The DVLA will contact you if your vehicle needs an inspection.

Applying to remove a registration

You can apply online or by post. The ‘transfer fee’ is £80 in all cases, whether transferring to another vehicle or placing on to retention. You must have the vehicle’s log book (V5C) in order to apply.

If the registered keeper’s name for the vehicle is not in your name, you will have to apply by post.

Applying online

When applying online the registration will be removed immediately and the DVLA records for the vehicle will be updated within 48 hours.

You can assign the registration to another vehicle when it has been removed and as soon as you’ve applied to take it off. You will need to use a reference number created during the online process when it has been removed. This number will be the V778 retention document number created.

The DVLA online service is available from 7am to 7pm – including weekends.

Applying by post

Send the following documents to DVLA:

To tax your vehicle at the same time, you will need to send the following to DVLA:

  • A V10 form
  • A cheque made payable to DVLA for the road tax (6 months or 12 months)
  • A valid and current MOT certificate for the vehicle

After you have applied

The original registration issued to your vehicle will usually be reassigned to your vehicle.

You will receive:

  • A new V5C log book referencing the vehicle’s new registration – this can take between 2 and 4 weeks to arrive
  • Your original MOT document, where applicable
  • The V778 retention document with the registered keeper’s name added as the grantee

Before you can drive your vehicle, you will need to ensure:

You notify your insurance company of the change in registration

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