There are several ways to get DVLA personalised plates for a vehicle. You get buy personal numbers at an auction or direct from the Driver Vehicle and Licensing Agency.
This step by step guide explains how to get a private (personalised) number plate and then assign it or transfer it (e.g. to a car or motorcycle).
So, you have some interest in buying DVLA cherished plates and using them on your vehicle? Well, there are two easy ways to buy a private (personalised) registration.
You can make the purchase from a private dealer or you can order number plates online from DVLA in Swansea.
Doing so should give you the legal right to use the private number on your vehicle. If so, providing you have the correct documentation, you can make an application to put it on (assign it).
What if you choose not to use the private number any longer? In this case, you can keep it by applying to 'take it off' the vehicle and put it 'on retention' (e.g. for use at some time in the future).
Important: The V778 retention document that you get would serve as proof that you still have the legal right to use it.
You can also sell a DVLA personalised (private) registration, or give it away as a gift, if you no longer want to use it.
There is a two step process to transfer a private number from one vehicle to another. So, to make a DVLA private plate transfer, you would need to:
Note: You can also use Form V317 to apply to keep a vehicle registration (put number plate on retention) and then assign it to another vehicle.
In fact, 'DVLA Personalised Registrations' has millions of personalised number plates that you can choose from, including auction plates and cherished plates.
A DVLA personalised number plates auction takes place several times a year (5 live and 4 timed) around the country. You can also view a catalogue online that shows DVLA future auctions and an updated list of cherished numbers that are available.
Note: You can make a bid at a personalised plates auction online, in person, by telephone, or in writing.
A V750 certificate of entitlement proves that you have the legal right to assign the private (personalised) number to a vehicle. As the highest bidder, you would receive the V750 document after payment.
You can also buy private registration from a dealer or from another person. As a rule, reputable dealers would take care of the transfer on your behalf.
But, you would need to get the V750 certificate of entitlement or the V778 certificate of retention from the private dealer to keep or assign the number yourself.
You are going to need at least one of the following documents to assign a private (personalised) number to a vehicle (e.g. car or motorcycle):
You would get at least one of these after buying exclusive registration numbers or taking the number off another vehicle that you already own.
Note: After checking the application, the DVLA would contact you if they want to inspect the vehicle.
Providing you already have the vehicle log book (V5C) there is no charge to apply online or by post.
There is a different process to follow if there is a private number already on the vehicle. In this case, you must apply to take the number off first. Failing to do so means you may lose the right to use it.
The DVLA will assign the number straight away if the vehicle is not going to need a visual inspection. So, be prepared (e.g. find your nearest number plate supplier) to put new plates on the vehicle after applying online.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency will take about two (2) weeks to assign a number if you apply by post (unless the vehicle needs an inspection). You would need to send:
Note: Are you assigning the number to someone else's vehicle? If so, you should add them as a 'nominee' by completing section 2 of the V750 or the V778.
What if you want to tax the vehicle at the same time? In this case, you would also need to include (all):
Important: It is wise to keep the original registration number and plates. DVLA would reassign them if the private number is taken off the vehicle. You must wait until you get the new log book (V5C) before selling it or getting rid of it (e.g. scrapping your vehicle).
There are several reasons for taking a private (personalised) number off a vehicle. You would need to take off a personal number to (either):
Note: In most cases, they will reassign the original registration by automatic process after taking off the private number. You cannot keep any number if it starts with the letters 'Q' or 'NIQ'.
Note: After checking your application, the DVLA would contact you if the vehicle will need an inspection.
The current cost to apply online or by post is £80 (providing you already have the vehicle log book). You would need to apply by postal methods if the vehicle is not registered in your name.
The DVLA will remove the number straight away if they do not need to inspect the vehicle. So, you will be able to assign it after you applied to take it off (using the online reference number).
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency will take about two (2) weeks to remove a number if you apply by post (unless it needs an inspection). You would then need to send:
If you want to tax the vehicle at the same time you would need to include (all):
A V778 retention document serves as proof that you still have the legal right to assign the personalised number for the next ten (10) years. But, you would lose your right to use a private number if you fail to renew it before the V778 expires.
Important: Selling or destroying the vehicle before getting the V778 means you would also lose the right to use the private number. You can choose to give up your right to use a personal number if you do not assign it.
The right to use your private (personalised) number plates needs renewing every ten (10) years (unless used on a vehicle). Private numbers bought before 2015 need renewing on an annual basis. Your V750 certificate of entitlement or V778 retention document will confirm the requirement.
The DVLA will send a reminder letter or email if you are not using your personalised vehicle registration. It will notify you that your right to use it is about expire. There is no fee to renew a private number and you can do so for up to ten (10) years.
You need to have an account (or create one) with 'DVLA Personalised Registration' to renew your V750 certificate of entitlement online.
You can renew by post by filling in the form on the V750 certificate or V778 document and then sending it to the address written on the form.
You will be able to buy the right to use a private registration number again, if (both):
Note: You would need to apply by the 18th of December 2019. The DVLA will refuse applications after this date. The fee is £25 for each year (or part year) that it has been expired.
Fill in the form on the V750 certificate or V778 document and then send it along with the current fee to the address written on the form.
You would need to send a letter to DVLA Personalised Registrations if you do not have the V750 or V778. The letter must explain why the document is not in your possession. You must also include:
Send a letter to 'DVLA Personalised Registrations' if your V750 certificate of entitlement or V778 retention document is lost or stolen. You can ask for a replacement V750 or V778, providing:
DVLA Personalised Registrations
Note: Allow up to four (4) weeks to get a new V750 certificate of entitlement or V778 retention document.
You can buy a DVLA private number plate as a gift for someone. You can also sell a private (personalised) number that you already own. Either way, the benefactor must assign the number to their vehicle before using it.
You should follow the same steps for assigning a private number to someone else if you will be giving it away as a personalised number plate gift.
There are several ways of selling your private number. You can either sell it yourself or you can use the services of a private number dealer.
Important: You should never share a photograph or a scan of the V750 or V778 document. Fraudsters use illegal scams to put private numbers on other vehicles.
Most private number dealers will complete the whole process on your behalf. They will try to find a buyer, arrange for the payment, and then transfer the registration to the vehicle of the person who bought it from you.
You can also choose to sell your private number yourself, without using a dealer. Once you find a buyer, you would need to follow the steps for assigning a private number to someone else to assign it to their vehicle.
You can use the online service or postal methods to put your private number onto someone else's vehicle. The DVLA would then send a replacement log book for the vehicle that contains the new private number assigned to it.
If the nominee dies, the person with the legal right to use the private number will be able to change the 'nominee'.
You would need to fill in section 2 of the V750 or V778 document and add the details of the new nominee. Remember to sign the form and send it to the DVLA Personalised Registrations address.
There is one topic that tops the list of personalised registration gifts - that is NAMES! A survey shows most motorists would choose to have their own name on a number plate - if it was given as a gift.
So, let's take a closer look:
The survey, conducted by the DVLA, included 1,000 motorists. They wanted their thoughts on personalised registrations for cars. As you might expect, personal names and nicknames topped the list.
But, registrations representing a business were also a popular choice. Somewhat surprisingly, those that represented a favourite sports team, or a family pet, also ranked high on the list.
DVLA Personalised Registrations list over 50 million different permutations. They also revealed that those most searched for on their website were 'BE11 CKY' and 'SB51 MON' (during the year 2017).
Some DVLA personalised number plates sell at auction for hundreds of thousands of pounds. But, anyone looking for a DVLA private number plate gift on a smaller budget can find registrations starting at £250.
Members of the public can buy personalised registrations online 24 hours a day. The DVLA has a dedicated team to help customers find the number they want over the phone.
The DVLA has now been providing personalised registrations to motorists for thirty years. Since their first auction took place in 1989 they have sold close to 6 million numbers to motorists.
At the time of writing, sales of personalised (private) registrations have generated almost £2 billion for the Treasury.
The five most expensive registrations sold by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) are:
Note: The DVLA considers the combination of certain numbers and letters to be too rude or offensive with the arrival of the 2020s (20-plate registration) and bans them from use. Typical examples include OR19 ASM, AS19 OLE, DO19 POO, and DO19 SHT.
You can use your 'DVLA Personalised Registrations' account to change your address online (for the V750 certificate of entitlement only).
You would need to fill in the 'change of address' section in the V750 or V778 to change your address by postal methods. Sign the form and send it to the DVLA Personalised Registrations address.
What if you do not have the V750 or V778 document? In this case, you would need to write a letter stating the details of your new address. Sign the letter and send it to DVLA Personalised Registrations.
You would also need to send some proof of your identity which can be a copy of:
You would need to use postal methods to change your name on a V750 certificate of entitlement or V778 retention document. You would need to send some proof of your new name, such as a copy of:
Use the section marked 'nominee details' in the V750 or V778 document to make a name change and then sign it. Send it, along with the proof of your name change, to the 'DVLA Personalised Registrations' postal address.
In this case, you would need to write a letter stating the full details of your new name. Sign the letter and send with some proof of your name change to DVLA Personalised Registrations.
You can fix any mistakes by writing a letter stating what the error relates to. Send the letter along with the V750 or V778 document to the postal address of DVLA Personalised Registrations.
Even though you have the right to use a private (personalised) number, you can decide not to assign it to a vehicle. It means you may qualify for a refund of £80.
It relates to the fee that you paid when (either):
You would be able to apply for a refund if:
Note: Documents issued before the 9th of March 2015 only qualify for a refund once they expire. But, you cannot replace a document once it expires.
You would need to tick the section marked 'Give up the right to this registered number (surrender)' on the V778 or the V750 document. Remember to sign it and then send it to:
DVLA Personalised Registrations
Important: You will not be able to use DVLA personalised number plates after giving up your right. The process differs if the person who has the legal right to use a personal number has died.
You may be the beneficiary if the person with the right to use the private (personalised) number dies. If so, or if you have the 'role of executor' after a death, you would be able to (either):
You would need to send a form to the DVLA and provide them with documentation that proves you have the legal right to use the private number.
The DVLA will need either the original the death certificate, or a certified copy, when you send in the form. They will also need at least one of these documents:
The correct form to use, and send to the DVLA, will depend on whether the personalised number is already assigned to a vehicle.
If the private number is already assigned, you would need to use:
Remember to include the details of the person that you would like to transfer the number to (e.g. the next of kin or the executor of the will). The current cost is £80.
If the personal number is not assigned to a vehicle you would need to send the documents that prove you have the right to use it, along with (either):
The executor of the will needs to sign the V778 or V750 document and provide you with a covering letter stating whether you want to keep the number or give it to another person.
If you are not in possession of either the V778 or the V750 you would need to send:
DVLA Private Registration Guide for the United Kingdom