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What are the basic regulations surrounding number plate transfers?

January, 3 2006

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  • The donor vehicle must be currently MOT'd and taxed, taxed and MOT expired or MOT expired and tax expired less than 6 months.
  • If you have declared SORN on the donor vehicle then the last tax disc must have expired (not refunded) less than 6 months.
  • A fee of £80 to the Department of Transport is payable for a vehicle to vehicle transfer and £105 (£25 of which is the actual registration fee) is payable for placing the mark onto a retention certificate. The certificate is valid for 12 months and can be renewed annually for £25 per year.
  • A donor vehicle must be subject to MOT testing at some time during its life.
  • Registration marks legally are owned by the Secretary of State for Transport - it is the right to display the mark on a vehicle which is granted or transferred. If you pass on a vehicle to a new keeper, then you lose control of the registration mark. If you scrap a vehicle without retaining the mark, the mark is lost.
  • You can't use a mark to make a vehicle look newer than it is. e.g. you can't assign a P registration to a M registration car. You are allowed to use an older registration.
  • You can't put a cherished number onto a Q registered vehicle.
  • Registration marks, which have never been used on vehicles before, are issued in the form of certificates of entitlement (V750). Like V778's, they are renewable annually for a fee of £25 per year. So if you find the registration you've always wanted, you can keep it on a certificate until you have a suitable car. Marks on certificates are ideal to give as surprise presents since the actual vehicle documents aren't needed until after the event, so you can give the certificate and a pair of plates, attractively wrapped.
  • To assign a registration mark on a certificate to a vehicle, you need to take/post your registration document (V5/C), MOT (if applicable), current copy of the tax disc or note of the expiry date and serial number (or tax application) to your nearest local Registration Office - usually in the telephone directory under "Transport, Dept. of". The assignment fee will already have been paid at the time of purchasing the mark, or placing it on a retention, so there will be no more costs to pay. You will be given back your tax disc showing the new mark and given an envelope to send back your old disc. Any MOT submitted will be re-stamped with the new registration. Your V5 will be sent to DVLA, Swansea for the new reg to be put on and then returned direct to you. The V5 will not show another keeper.
  • Department of transport local offices provide an "over the counter" service for V750 assignments only. Other transactions take approximately 7-14 working days.
  • The legal time in any registration transfer to actually change your number plates is when you have a current tax disc showing the new mark.
  • You can apply for tax at the same time as a transfer by sending in your insurance certificate or cover note, a completed V10 (This can be obtained from a post office and should, technically, be filled in with the existing registration mark) and the appropriate fee (Cheques to the Dept. Of Transport).
  • You can apply to put the vehicle into your name at the same time as the transfer by filling in the appropriate part of the V5/C. If you only have the small green slip of the V5/C (V5/2) you can use this to do a cherished transfer accompanied by a completed V62 form. The green slip must not already show cherished transfer having taken place and can only be used for up to two months from the date of sale.
  • In general the documents needed for a cherished transfer are: - V5/C, MOT (if applicable), V317 (Transfer form). When you take a cherished registration off your vehicle, you will be given back a registration mark suitable for the year of the car. Usually, nowadays, you will be given back the original mark. This simplifies DVLA records and, also, is better for drivers who have had their windows etched with the original registration mark.
  • In certain circumstances, a cherished number can be put onto a brand new vehicle. This involves sending the appropriate entitlement certificate to the car dealer. Since many dealers register new vehicles online it is always necessary to discuss your requirements with them first.
  • The forms for applying to retain a mark (V778/1) or transfer from one vehicle to another (V317) are available from your local vehicle licensing office.

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