How to register a private number plate in the UK

Looking to put a personal stamp on your vehicle? The process is quite simple when it comes to registering a private number plate and if you change your mind down the line, it’s easy enough to sell your personalised number plate. private number plate

The first step to a private number plate is selecting and purchasing the one you want, you can buy these from the DVLA or a private dealer. The DVLA has a website where you can search for number plates, or you can buy them at auctions which take place across the country typically around five times a year. 

When you purchase a private number plate from the DVLA you’ll be given a V750 certificate of entitlement. This proves that you’ve got the right to assign this number to your vehicle. When you buy a private plate from a dealer or another person, you’ll either receive a V750 or a V778 which is a retention document which proves you have the right to assign the number to a vehicle. 

Once you have purchased the number plate, you’ll then have to assign it to your vehicle, this is done easily enough through the post or online. 

How to register a private number plate

When you’re assigning your private number plate to a vehicle, there is certain documentation that you’d need to do so. You will need either: 

  • A V778 retention document 
  • A V750 certificate of entitlement 
  • An online reference number 

There are certain criteria and restrictions when it comes to registering a private number, such as you can’t put a private plate on a ‘Q’ registered vehicle, you can’t assign a number that starts with ‘Q’ or ‘NIQ’. You can’t use a private number to make a vehicle look newer than it is either. 

To register your private number plate with your vehicle it must be registered with the DVLA in the UK, be a vehicle that needs an MOT or an HGV test certificate, have been taxed for the past five years, as well as be available for inspection – the DVLA will get in touch with you if an inspection is needed.  

It’s free to register a personalised number plate to your vehicle, if it’s registered to you, this can be done online or by post. You’ll need the vehicle’s log book to do this. If the car or van is brand new, you can ask the dealer to apply for you when you give them your V750 or V778 document. If you want to assign a private plate to a used vehicle you have just bought, you’ll have to wait until the DVLA sends a new V5C in your name before you complete this. 

Register a private number plate online 

This is the simplest way to register a personalised number plate, and it can be completed between the hours of 7am and 7pm. Simply follow the steps online and your number will be assigned immediately if the vehicle doesn’t require an inspection. Once you’ve applied for this registration you must be able to put the new number plates on as soon the application has been approved. 

Register a private number plate by post 

Due to COVID-19 applications made via post are taking longer than usual to process. Please be aware of this if planning to use this method. 

When making an application via the post, you must send all of the documents below to the DVLA: 

  • V750 or V778, which is completed. The address to send it to is on the form
  • The vehicle’s log book, or the green ‘new keeper’ slip with a completed V62 form

Once you’ve assigned your private number plate, the DVLA will send you a new log book which can take up to six weeks to arrive. 

It’s important that you remember to put your new plates on the vehicle, as well as update your insurance company with your new number plate details before you drive it. 

Can I sell my number plate back to the DVLA?

No, you can’t sell a personalised number plate back to the DVLA even if you purchased it from them. However, it is possible to sell it to another person if you no longer want a personalised registration. 

To sell a private number plate you can either sell it yourself or make use of private number dealers. 

When selling your registration number it’s vital that you don’t share the V750 or V778 document, as this can be used to assign the number to another vehicle which could result in you losing out on money. 

If you use a private number dealer they’ll find the buyer, sort the payment as well as transferring the number to the buyer’s vehicle, for a price of course. 

But you can also sell the number yourself, once you’ve found a buyer you’ll have to follow the process of assigning the number to their vehicle.