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Retaining the registration plate of your vehicle

February 25, 2009
Posted in Number Plates — Written by Daniel

Most people would like to trade in their old vehicle for a brand new one but may want to keep their old registration plate. Often people purchase a new personalised number plate but also want to keep their old number plate. If you are facing a similar situation and are not sure what to do, then read on.

There is a way through which you can retain your old registration and sell the vehicle too. It is known as ‘retention’ and is a facility that enables the registration number of a vehicle to be taken off the vehicle and kept on a V778 document, popularly known as a retention certificate. It is a certificate issued by the DVLA in the United Kingdom, when the registration number of the vehicle is transferred off. You can hold your registration number on retention for an indefinite period and renew it annually for a fee of £25.

The process of retaining registration plates is simple and easy. You need form V778/1 that is available from the DVLA or in any post office. It provides the complete information required by you for the retention process. The completed form has to be sent to the local DVLA office with the following:

• If applicable, a MOT test certificate.
• The V5/V5C, also known as the log book, for the vehicle the registration number is presently assigned to.
• The number plate retaining fee, which is currently £105 that includes a £25 retention fee and an £80 assignment fee.

Remember, only the registered owner or keeper of the car can apply for retention of the registration number.


  1. Realy helpful as I want to sell my car but keep the number plate :-)

    Comment by LELSEY SOAR — June 19, 2012 at 10:22 am

  2. Thanks…great information if totally inaccurate. Just been to main post office to collect form and apparently post offices do not stock forms. Only available from dvla

    Comment by Helen — September 16, 2013 at 9:16 am

  3. This was 2009 so things have unfortunately changed since then.

    Pretty soon there won’t even be local DVLA offices to go to either :(

    Comment by National Numbers — September 19, 2013 at 3:18 pm

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