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You should remove your registration plate when either scrapping or selling the vehicle and you wish to keep the registration plate.
You should do this before you dispose of the vehicle. If the registration is still showing on the V5C (log book) for the vehicle when it leaves your possession, you've also lost possession of the number plate.
If you are able to remove the registration using the DVLA's online service to remove a number plate, then this can be done instantly. A new/replacement V5C will be sent to you - which can take 4 to 6 weeks to arrive.
If you need to perform the removal by post, then you need to allow around 2 weeks for your request to be processed, and then the 4 to 6 weeks for the replacement V5C to arrive.
For further information: Retain A Registration With DVLA Retention Scheme