You can use our Car History Check service to check if a vehicle has had any previous plate changes.
A vehicle history report includes a list of all previous plates that have been used on the vehicle along with the date of transfer.
In many cases, a personalised plate isn’t cause for concern, but it’s important to complete some extra checks to make sure a plate change isn’t being used to hide the identity of a vehicle.
You can also view our support articles to find out more about what ‘Plate Changes’ means on a vehicle history report.
When transferring a number plate to your vehicle, it may take a couple of weeks before all of the records on this service are updated. You may still see some old information in the meantime if the plate has recently been transferred from a different vehicle.
To transfer a private or personalised plate to a vehicle you will need a certificate of entitlement or retention document.
If the vehicle is registered to you, you can transfer the plate online.
After transferring a plate, you will receive a new V5C registration document. You will then need to put the new number plates on the vehicle before driving it. You’ll also need to inform your insurance company of the change.
It’s also important to remember to update any records that may still be using your old number plate, for example, congestion charge or low emission zone payment accounts.
You can take a private or personalised plate off a vehicle if you want to use it on a different vehicle. You can’t transfer registration plates that start with ‘Q’ or ‘NIQ’.
It costs £80 to take the plate off your vehicle. The vehicles original registration would then usually be put back on the vehicle.
You could be fined up to £1,000 if your plates are displayed incorrectly.
Rearranging the characters, changing the spacing or making your plate difficult to read could result in an MOT failure or fine.
A white plate should be displayed on the front of your vehicle, with a yellow plate on the back. It should be made of a reflective material with no background pattern.
The name of the number plate supplier should also be displayed on the plate.
You can have 3D characters that are raised on the plate, along with specific flags and identifiers. Electric vehicles can also show a green marker on the plate in place of a flag.
After 1st September 2021, the characters on a plate must be a single shade of black. Plates should also be marked with “BS AU 145e”.Check a Vehicle
Number plates can only be produced by registered number plate suppliers.
You’ll need to confirm your identity with one of the following documents:
You’ll also need to confirm that you have the right to use the number plate before the supplier can produce a replacement. You can use:
There are also a number of other documents that can be used if you don’t have any of the above.