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Plate Change

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a plate change?

A private plate can be added to a vehicle to personalise it. The plate can then be changed and transferred as you buy and sell different vehicles.

You can also assign your number plate to someone else’s vehicle.

How do I put my private plate on my vehicle?

You can apply to put your plate on a vehicle with the DVLA at no cost. You’ll only need to pay if you’re removing the plate from one vehicle and transferring it to another.

Private number plates must not start with a Q, NIQ or be used to make a vehicle look newer than it is.

How do I take my private plate off my vehicle?

If you don’t want to use your private number plate, you can choose to keep it on retention. You’ll still have the right to use the number plate at a later date if you re-assign it to a vehicle, but it won’t be linked to any specific vehicle while on retention.

How much does it cost to change the number plate on a vehicle?

When you want to put a private plate on your vehicle, you’ll need to complete an application, but there is no charge.

If you want to take a plate off a vehicle and put it on retention, you’ll need to pay a fee of £80.

If you want to transfer your plate from one vehicle to another, you’ll also need to complete a separate application and pay the £80 fee.

How do I check if a car has had a plate change?

You can check if a vehicle has had a plate change using the car history check service.

You’ll need to upgrade to a paid report to access this information. You’ll be able to see all plate transfers that have been recorded against the vehicle by entering the current registration.

Changing the number plate on a vehicle

When you want to change the number plate on a vehicle, you’ll need to complete a different application depending on what you want to do.

You can use form V317 to move your private plate from one vehicle to another.

Alternatively, you can do this online in two steps:

1. First you will need to apply to take the plate off your vehicle.

2. You can then assign it to your new vehicle when you are ready.

Buying a private number plate

You can by private number plates from multiple places:

  • DVLA personalised registrations
  • DVLA auctions
  • Private plate dealers
  • Individuals looking to sell their plate

Once you’ve purchased the plate, you’ll get a certificate of entitlement which can be used to assign the plate to your chosen vehicle.

Selling a private number plate

There are a number of ways to sell your number plate if you no longer want it:

  • Contact a private plate dealer
  • Sell the plate to someone else privately
  • Give up the right to use the private number by contacting the DVLA

You can also assign your private number plate to someone else’s vehicle.

Don’t ever share a copy of your certificate of entitlement, as it could be used by someone else to put the plate on a vehicle.